PM Imran Khan sabotaged US-Pakistan relations to save his govt: ex-foreign minister

Pakistans former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks at the Asia Society in New York on September 27, 2012. — Reuters
Pakistan’s former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks at the Asia Society in New York on September 27, 2012. — Reuters
  • Ex-foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar says she is angry and upset with PM Imran Khan for behaving “irresponsibly”.
  • Says biggest problem with PM Imran Khan is that he hurts the cause of Pakistan while attempting to hurt his opponents.
  • Says it’s very easy for Imran Khan to continually lie about tenures of other political leaders”.

ISLAMABAD: Following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation on Thursday in which he vehemently criticised the United State for launching drone attacks in Pakistan during its war on terror and trying to “exercise its influence” in ousting him, the former foreign minister of the country, Hina Rabbani Khar, said that the premier has sabotaged US-Pakistan relations to save his government. 

Speaking to Geo News, the ex-foreign minister said that it was not only the PPP government’s decision, but the overall state policy on drone attacks was pretty clear. 

“Thirty years from now, no one will remember who Imran Khan was,” she said. “People will only remember that there was a prime minister who sabotaged the US-Pakistan relations to save his own government.”

Khar went on to say that the biggest problem with PM Imran Khan is that he hurts the cause of Pakistan while attempting to hurt his opponents.

‘PM Khan waved Pakistan’s internal cable before public’

She said that once a person is appointed to the office of the prime minister, they have to assume certain responsibilities. 

“I am really angry and upset over the way PM Imran Khan behaved so irresponsibly,” Khar proclaimed. “This was Pakistan’s internal cable which the premier was waving before the public, calling it a letter.”

She said it is a routine exercise for ambassadors to send diplomatic cables to their countries.

“Whenever there is a message or an important matter, the ambassador sends the diplomatic cable to the head of the government,” she said. 

The former foreign minister added that using a diplomatic cable to one’s own advantage and calling it a conspiracy against the prime minister [by foreign powers] is a “dangerous stand”.

Khar criticised PM Imran Khan for saying that the cable had arrived even before the Opposition had tabled the no-confidence motion to oust him from office. 

“We have foreign ambassadors of many countries living in Pakistan who send diplomatic cables detailing the country’s situation to their capitals on a daily basis,” she said. 

She said that the entire world was aware that the Opposition in Pakistan considering a no-trust motion against the premier.

‘PPP consistently condemned drone attacks during tenure’

Responding to PM Imran Khan’s comments about the previous government that they had remained silent on the issue of US drone attacks in Pakistan, Khar said that during its tenure, the PPP government had “consistently condemned the drone attacks in the strongest possible manner.”

The ex-FM said that to register its condemnation, the PPP government had even invited the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to Pakistan.

“The issue of drone strikes has ended in this region since the war is over now but when we were in power, it was quite the trend here,” she said. 

She asserted that during that time, any prime minister — even if it were to be Imran Khan — would have been a part of the United States’ drone policy.

“It is very easy for Imran Khan to continually lie about the tenures of other political leaders,” she said.

‘Islamabad never valued for taking part in war on terror’: PM Imran Khan

During his televised address to the nation earlier this evening, PM Imran Khan had said that despite Pakistan’s participation and sacrifices it made for the United States’ “war on terror”, Islamabad never received appreciation.

The premier noted that when the country’s northern areas were bombarded by US drones, he was the “only politician” who had staged sit-ins against it.

“None of the senior politicians raised their voice against it as they were afraid that it might draw United States’ ire.

PM Imran Khan said Pakistanis suffered due to the “war on terror”. Therefore, the premier said when he came into power, he aspired for an independent foreign policy.

“…our policy was not anti-US, -Europe, or even India […] it became anti-Indian after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and broke international law in August 2019,” the premier had said.

Referring to the three bigwigs of the Opposition — Maulana Fazlure Rehman, Shahbaz Sharif, and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari — the prime minister wondered why were the “three stooges” acceptable to the foreign powers. 

“I will tell you why they are acceptable. During dictator Pervez Musharraf’s tenure, only 11 drone attacks took place, but after them, during the 10 years of [PPP and PML-N’s] tenure, 400 drone attacks took place.”

“They did not even utter a single word against it […] Even Hamid Karzai, who was the president of Afghanistan where the US forces were present, would condemn the drone attacks, but our politicians did not express reservations against it,” he said.

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