By: Chandrashekar Bhat
PAKISTAN prime minister Imran Khan said the US has always used his country to meet its strategic goals and when the purpose was served, it abandoned and slapped sanctions on Islamabad.
China, on the contrary, stood the test of time as a “friend”, he said.
Khan made the remarks during a recent interview with Eric Li, the director of the advisory committee of China Institute of Fudan University, The News International newspaper reported on Friday (11).
Khan said there are times when his country has friendly ties with the United States. However, when the US feels that it no longer needs Pakistan, it distances itself from it.
“Whenever the US needed us, they established relations, and Pakistan became a frontline state (against Soviet), and then abandoned it and slapped sanctions on us when its purposes were served,” he said, citing an example of the Pakistan-US ties in the 1980s when the erstwhile Soviet Union had deployed its troops in Afghanistan.
He said friendly relations between the US and Pakistan were restored and Islamabad became a friend of Washington, according to the excerpt of the interview recorded during his recent visit to China from February 3-6 to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
“The US helped us at that time, but as soon as the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, the United States imposed sanctions on Pakistan,” Khan said.
When the 9/11 terror attacks happened, US-Pakistan relations got better again. However, when the US “failed” in Afghanistan, Pakistan was blamed for the defeat, Khan said.
“China is a friend which has always stood by Pakistan,” Khan said, adding that during the last 70 years, the two countries supported each other on every forum, he said.