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NSA Moeed Yusuf told "do not go" ahead of Russia visit, says Qureshi

09 Apr, 2022
The foreign minister said Pakistan clarified its position that the country would play its role in peace. APP
The foreign minister said Pakistan clarified its position that the country would play its role in peace. APP

With reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow amid Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said the United States national security advisor called Pakistan’s NSA Moeed Yusuf and told him: “Do not go”.

Qureshi said this while addressing the floor of the National Assembly session in which the voting on the no-confidence motion against the prime minister is expected to take place at 8pm today.

“We decided to present our point of view on the Ukraine crisis. And we did so in a session of the United Nations,” the foreign minister said to give credence to claims that an international conspiracy was afoot to remove the prime minister for having an "independent foreign policy".

The foreign minister said Pakistan clarified its position that the country would play its role in peace. “We are willing to be partners in peace and not in conflict anymore – after suffering more than 20 years [of war in Afghanistan].

“This is the policy of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.”

He added: “A bilateral visit to Moscow was being planned for two months. For that a consultation was held related to the tour’s benefit for the country with all stakeholders, including former diplomats and media personnel. The pros and cons of the visit were discussed and it was decided that the visit was beneficial for Pakistan. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had not started then.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his public address to the nation on March 27 claimed that a “foreign conspiracy” was hatched to topple the PTI government and claimed the possession of a letter that cited threats to the premier in case the no-confidence motion failed against the prime minister. The connections of toppling the PTI's rule were then being made with Pakistan's "independent foreign policy" and the premier's visit to Russia.

Some social media users lauded the foreign minister for his fierce speech on the floor of the House while others criticized him.

One of the users shared the video clip of the session in which the treasury benches along with Qureshi chanted “Imran Khan will save Pakistan”.

Some made snide remarks including one who commented that Qureshi sounds better when on mute.