Imran Khan Says, Paying Price for Independent Foreign Policy

Islamabad- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed that there was a “foreign conspiracy hatched by the United States” to topple his government through the opposition’s no-confidence motion for pursuing an “independent foreign policy”.

Imran Khan 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.

Immense political turmoil has followed the joint opposition's filing of the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Khan in the National Assembly.

In the span of a month, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) lost the majority in the lower house with many members leaving and the party.

Khan said he had reports that party dissidents had frequented the [US] embassy. “What were the reasons that the people, who have left us, met people of the embassy frequently in the last few days,” he wondered.

"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 (United States) 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.

Prime Minister revealed that the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu had in a meeting with Ambassador Asad Majeed warned there could be implications if Imran Khan survived the opposition’s no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

"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 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.”

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.

He said self-respect was the sign of an independent nation and Pakistan had to be built according to the vision of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah philosopher 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.

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."

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