A day after Prime Minister Imran Khan said he is paying the price for pursuing an independent foreign policy, he revealed that the country was threatened with “dire consequences” by a foreign power if the no-confidence against the incumbent government fails.
“They order us…if the no-confidence motion [against PM Imran] does not succeeded then there would be dire consequences,” Imran said referring to the foreign power.
“Can anyone send such threats to a country,” he said, calling it tantamount to interference in internal affairs.
LIVE #APPNews : Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses Islamabad Security Dialogue 2022 @PakPMO #ISD2022 #IsbDialogue #IslamabadSecurityDialogue https://t.co/eWO06Cisii— APP 🇵🇰 (@appcsocialmedia) April 1, 2022
“How can a country can interfere in the affairs of an independent state,” Imran asked as he delivered an address at the Islamabad Security Dialogue.
“But [we cannot] not blame them, as it is our fault because we gave them this impression,” he added.
The premier stated it was being said that Pakistan could not upset the US, but India due to its independent foreign policy was buying oil from Russia. “The US says it cannot say anything to India due to its independent foreign policy,” Imran said, adding that despite being a US ally, India was fostering ties with Russia.
He said as per the US, India was a sovereign state, so “what are we then”. According to Imran, the absence of an independent foreign policy meant people’s interests could not be protected.
Read No-trust voting on April 3
Terming an independent foreign policy crucial for the country, the premier said the reason why Pakistan could not reach its peak potential was due to the country's ‘dependency syndrome’.
“A country without an independent foreign policy remains unable to secure the interests of its people,” he added.
The premier further said that taking independent decisions while giving high priority to the interests of the nation was extremely important, rather than submitting to the will of other states in exchange for foreign aid.
Criticising the decisions of the previous governments to join foreign wars and the global war on terror, the prime minister said a nation could not progress if it remained dependent on foreign aid.
“These decisions, that incurred major damage to Pakistan, were made for the sake of dollars,” he said.
He pointed out that such detrimental policies resulted in the rise of sectarian militancy that disrupted the environment of investment and promoted illicit drugs and black money in the country.
The prime minister also regretted that no independent evaluation was made afterward to assess the damage suffered by the Pakistani society, and said “the elite filled up their bank accounts at the cost of the nation”.
Imran said his government, during the past four years, pursued an independent foreign policy that helped the country gain respect in the global arena.
He further maintained that national security was a multidimensional phenomenon and could be ensured when the state and nation were united with a single vision and ideology.
The premier said his government firmly believed that there was a symbiotic relationship between economic, human, and traditional security which was imperative for Pakistan’s long-term development.
He added that domestic stability and regional peace based on mutual co-existence, regional connectivity, and shared prosperity were essential prerequisites to optimising national security.
A day earlier, PM Imran had said that he was paying the price in the shape of a “foreign conspiracy hatched by the United States” to topple the incumbent government through the opposition’s no-confidence motion for pursuing an “independent foreign policy”.
"On Sunday, there is voting [on a no-confidence motion]. The country's fate is about to be decided on Sunday… The nation will decide where they want the country led to," the prime minister had said in his address to the nation broadcast live on Thursday evening.
Premier Imran had said the people would always remember those who would be committing any treachery on Sunday as they would not buy their argument so easily.
PM Imran had addressed the nation hours after he chaired the meeting of the National Security Committee, which had termed the formal communication of a foreign country's official "blatant interference" in Pakistan's internal affairs and also decided to issue a demarche to that country.
Read more Imran directs MNAs to stay away from no-trust session
He had told the nation that on March 7, the government received a message from that country through Pakistan's ambassador there, which said that they would pardon Pakistan's all misgivings if Imran Khan was ousted. If happened otherwise, Pakistan would have to face difficulties.
"This (message) is against the nation," he had said, adding that the message coming before the vote of confidence showed that the political opponents were in contact with that country.
"Is this our worth? … We are creeping like snails," he had remarked.
The prime minister had said the conspiracy was being hatched through three stooges in Pakistan. They wanted to oust Imran Khan and it would also be fine for that country, he added.
He had said Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif had opposed his "absolutely not" stance to join the US-led war anymore.
"Our public representatives are on sale. This is the trade of loyalties. This is the trade of country and its sovereignty. What lesson are we giving to our youth? No one will ever call them ideological. Everyone knows them," the prime minister had remarked.
The allegations leveled against the opposition by the prime minister came amid a no-confidence motion submitted against him.
As a result of intense political negotiations, the opposition also managed to convince two government allies, MQM-P and BAP, to switch sides. As a result, the prime minister has lost the majority in the lower house.
On Thursday, the PTI-led government "literally ran away from conducting voting on the no-confidence motion" submitted against PM Imran as the National Assembly session was once again put off till April 3.
Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri had adjourned the proceedings after seeing the strength of the opposition parties’ lawmakers, who repeatedly asked him to hold voting on the motion instead of proceeding ahead with Q&A session.
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