Pakistani leader Imran Khan talked to RT’s Paula Slier about Pakistan being maligned during the War on Terror, the world’s lackluster response to Kashmir, threats of nuclear war, and ties with Russia, among other topics.
Islamabad dragged into Washington’s war in Afghanistan
“I strongly felt that Pakistan should have been neutral” in the US-led global War on Terror, Prime Minister Khan said. He reminded that the CIA funded the training of Islamists to fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. But when American troops invaded the country a decade later, these fighters turned against the US ally, Pakistan, killing tens of thousands of its citizens and crippling its economy. On top of that, some American officials pinned the blame on Islamabad for Washington’s failures in the Afghan campaign, which was “very unfair” to Pakistan, Khan stressed.
Nuclear war is worst-case scenario
The PM warned about the risk of renewed tensions over disputed Kashmir spiraling out of control. That would be the worst-case scenario, he said, as the nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan would be pitted against each other in a dangerous standoff, similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. “No rational human being can talk of a nuclear war,” Khan stated, urging the world community to intervene in Kashmir because the situation on the ground remains “explosive.”
‘New relationship’ with Moscow
Since Soviet times, Russia has maintained friendly ties with India, while relations with Islamabad were sour during the Cold War. Khan hopes this will change and Russia grows closer to Pakistan, fostering “a new relationship” between the nations. Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “a big voice in the world,” he said. And the current Kashmir crisis could be resolved if the big players – Russia, the US and China – “get together” to do it.
Let down by the world on Kashmir
Khan vowed to “knock on every door” to get Kashmir on the forefront of the global agenda. Nevertheless, so far he feels underwhelmed by the world community, after having “expected the world to react much more than it has.”“This is the time to act. Inaction is not an option,” he stressed, suggesting that some may be dismayed by the risk of damaging their trade with India. Khan lamented that, to some, the markets and “material gains” are “much more important than human beings.”
Watch the full interview with Imran Khan on RT.com
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