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Pakistan desires to play role in easing US-China tensions: PM Imran

Says the country intends to repeat what it did in 1970; hopes of political dialogue in resolving Kashmir issue
Updated 08 Feb, 2022 07:55pm
Prime Minister Imran Khan during an interview with the CGTN. Screengrab/twitter.com/@appcsocialmedia
Prime Minister Imran Khan during an interview with the CGTN. Screengrab/twitter.com/@appcsocialmedia

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the country wanted to play role in bringing the world’s two biggest economies – the US and China – in order to avoid a ‘Cold War’ like situation.

“The world does not need another cold war. The world should not go into a situation where it is divided into two camps and it does not benefit anyone and people suffer. The people gain when there is a cooperation between countries,” he said during an interview with the CGTN.

The premier was asked about the apparent challenges to the Pakistan-United States relationship amid rising tensions between China and the US.

He gave the example of the European Union as to how the bloc developed an organisation and increased the living standard of its people.

“So what I say is that I hope it [US-China tensions] does not escalate into another cold war where we have to choose between two sides,” he said, “What we want is Pakistan to play the role that it did in 1970 when Pakistan was instrumental in getting the US and China together the famous visit of former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger was organised by Pakistan so we hope to play that role.

The premier further said his priority was the 220 million people of Pakistan. He stressed the need for economic wellbeing and peace to take the bottom tier of the country out of poverty.

Last year in a webinar, Kissinger had acknowledged Pakistan’s “pivotal role” in arranging Dr Kissinger’s secret journey to China. The development had changed the global balance of power and made a breakthrough in China-US relations.

The premier was also asked about the impact of China-Pakistan ties on the region.

PM Imran was of the view that the impact has brought stability to the region. “I think Pakistan’s big problem, and to some extent of China also, is our big neighbour India,” he said and expressed his hope to resolve all the issues through political dialogue.

“It’s unfortunate [that] in India we have a government that is extreme nationalist government. There has not been a government like this in India since our independence 74 years ago and this government, unfortunately, find very difficult to move forward specifically because of Kashmir,” he said, adding that Kashmir was the only issue with the neighbouring country India.

He accused the Indian government of making the longstanding dispute worse rather than resolving it. However, he expressed his hope to resolve the issue through dialogue.

On the Afghanistan issue, he said that Pakistan and China had a consensus over the relief for the people in the war-torn country in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis.

“We agree that the top priority of everyone should be the 40 million of Afghanistan.”

He further expressed his desire to boost industrialisation, the information technology sector and agriculture in the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“CPEC is extremely significant. Because the Chinese investment, which was made for connectivity and power generation, came at a crucial time when we were facing twin problems,” he said, and termed the investment as support from a country when “a friend [was] in need”.

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