Paying price for independent foreign policy: PM


Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he is 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 said in his address to the nation broadcast live.

Premier Imran 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 addressed the nation hours after he chaired the meeting of the National Security Committee, which called 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.

“I will fight if you think this conspiracy will succeed. Future generations will not forgive them. They should not have any misconceptions. It will make no difference to me as I live in my own house, bear my own expenses, and have no family member in politics,” he remarked.

He 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 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 remarked.

The prime minister 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 questioned the nation whether they would allow the one to power facing the National Accountability Bureau cases for corruption of billions of rupees, and an absconder whose corruption tales were also highlighted by the Western media, including the BBC.

He said out of nothing, the said foreign country expressed its concerns over his Russian visit which he had taken after thorough consultation with the military leadership, the Foreign Office and think tanks.

He said through their intelligence reports, the foreign countries had all the information about him as well as the opposition leaders and their benami properties and bank accounts abroad.

He said the leaders, who were now beloved by the said foreign country, never condemned 400 drone attacks by the United States during their tenures killing innocent people.

Referring to the Wiki Leaks disclosures, he said, “JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman once offered to serve the US interests if he was given power.”

Also read: Pakistan to issue ‘strong demarche’ to foreign country over ‘threatening letter’

He said instead of condemning Narendra Modi for calling that time army chief General Raheel Sharif a terrorist, he said Nawaz Sharif used to secretly meet him.

He said, “Instead of condemning the drone attacks, the then president Asif Zardari told the US that collateral damage made no difference to him.”

He 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 remarked.

The prime minister said Pakistan was at a defining moment, it had to choose from two paths.

Calling Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah a great politician and lawyer, he said before he came into politics, he had everything; popularity, money. “Even today, I do not need anything from others and I am thankful to Allah for His blessings.”

PM Imran said he was among the first generation, which grew up in an independent nation while his parents were born in an enslaved country.

He said self-respect was the sign of an independent nation and Pakistan had to be built according to the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Its aim was to become an Islamic welfare state on the model of Riyasat-e-Madina founded on the principles of justice, humanity and self-respect.

“Humans are the best of creations. Humans move ahead and resist difficulties. I want that the youth should learn from the life and qualities of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).”

He said when he assumed power, he decided that Pakistan’s foreign policy would be independent but it would not be against India, the United States, Europe and other countries. “In the past, I criticised the wrong policies of the foreign countries.”

He recalled that Pakistan had nothing to do with the war on terror and nobody from Pakistan was involved in the attacks on the United States on 9/11. Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf committed the biggest mistake when it became an ally of the United States after 9/11, while in the war against Soviet Union, Mujahideen were trained to wage Jihad against the foreign occupation of Afghanistan, he observed.

Read Military top brass calls on PM Imran

He said later on the United States, which earlier was an ally, imposed sanctions against Pakistan.
Pakistan was against terrorism and it sacrificed 80,000 nationals in the war against terrorism, he said, adding that its tribal areas were peaceful but when the people there were killed, they turned against Pakistan.

He said the people in tribal areas declared Pakistanis as collaborators and carried out terror attacks against the country, while the United States asked Pakistan to do more at the time when its innocent people were being killed in the drone attacks, he added.

The prime minister said he was called Taliban Khan when he staged a sit-in against the drone attacks.
During the US-led war on terrorism, the people of tribal areas as well as the expatriates suffered the most but no one spoke for them except him, he added.

The Pakistani politicians were fearful and they did not want to talk against the foreign powers, while the past governments were complicit in the killings of people in tribal areas, he stressed.

He said when he came to power, he declared that Pakistan’s foreign policy would be independent but would not be against the US, Europe and India. “I talked against India when it changed the status of Kashmir.”

He said the leaders like Nawaz Sharif could never speak against foreign powers because they had riches abroad. “They are the Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs of this time. The nation will never forget them. The future generations will not forgive them,” he added.

Also read: Imran terms no-trust a foreign conspiracy

He told the nation that the government had placed the foreign country’s message before the federal cabinet before presenting it to the National Security Committee, services chiefs and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

“This is not for any provocation. It contains even more serious things,” he remarked.

The prime minister vowed not to resign and instead expressed his determination to emerge stronger.

He said those who were shifting their loyalties on the pretext of awakened conscience, should have resigned if they had any problem with the government’s performance.

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