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'Would have never agreed' to US military bases in Pakistan: Imran Khan

Khan made these remarks while addressing overseas Pakistanis in a video message

Imran Khan | Pakistan


Imran Khan
Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo: Reuters)

on Saturday reiterated that he would "never have agreed" to any US demands for military bases in in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August.

He made these remarks while addressing overseas Pakistanis in a video message, reported Dawn.

He said that the US after evacuation from Afghanistan wanted bases in in order to "conduct (counter attacks) from here in case there was any terrorism in Afghanistan" -- something he said he found "absolutely unacceptable".

Imran said had already lost 80,000 lives in the US-led 'war on terror' and still its sacrifices were never appreciated, with many US politicians blaming it instead, reported Dawn.

"First they blamed us, then they didn't appreciate us, our country and tribal areas were destroyed and now (they) are again asking for bases. I would have never agreed to this and the problems (between us) started from there."

It is pertinent to mention that Imran, in an interview in June 2021, had categorically said that Pakistan would "absolutely not" allow any bases and use of its territory to the US for any sort of action inside Afghanistan.

His comments today were similar to the ones he made in a recent podcast where he said that the US was "asking for bases here to stop terrorism in Afghanistan", reported Dawn.

In today's video address, said the US wasn't used to Pakistan's government "making independent decisions". He said he wanted Pakistan's foreign policy to be for its own benefit instead of pursuing someone else's objectives.

Imran, who was voted out of the top office last month via a no-confidence movement, which he alleges was masterminded by the US through the help of local players over his pursuance of an independent foreign policy.

"The problems started here," he said, adding that Pakistan's relationship with China and visit to Russia were also a "problem" for the US.

Imran alleged that the "conspiracy" to topple his government started after he refused the demand for military bases and was aided by local abettors.

He said that by July and August of last year he had understood that "something was happening". Imran said the "bigger conspiracy" than his government being toppled was in who replaced him as he lashed out at the current government and branded it a "corrupt mafia", reported Dawn.

Imran criticized the members of the coalition government, claiming that "powerful local forces" had prevented their convictions in the cases against them.

He said that in his experience, Pakistan's "ruling elite is corrupt, soft and slaves" and would not survive without the US, reported Dawn.

"To place such people over us is a conspiracy against the future of this country and also its disrespect."

He thanked overseas Pakistanis for staging rallies and protests in his support after his ouster and called on them to participate in social media campaigns to spread awareness about the alleged conspiracy and write to their politicians and public representatives to hold them to account and question if they would allow such a move in their own country.

Imran also urged overseas Pakistanis to contribute and donate to the PTI's fundraising campaign for its protests and rallies, saying that a "little bit of your support" would go a long way in helping the party, reported Dawn.

"Time will prove that this will be the defining moment in Pakistan when the nation will be free of such thieves and traitors and we will venture towards the dream of a new Pakistan."

"I have never seen such awareness and unity in the public as today. I only saw it during the 1965 war and I still remember how the whole nation had united," he said.

He said the nation had come together on not accepting servitude or the "imported" government -- referring to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's coalition government.

Imran predicted a massive turnout for his planned march to Islamabad on May 20.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, May 08 2022. 06:17 IST