“We Can Be Partners In Peace With The US, But Can’t Be Partners In Conflict,” Says PM Imran In His NA Address

PM Imran NA speech
Image Source: NewsWeek

PM Imran Khan gave a speech in the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday, after the passing of the federal budget a day before.

PM Khan strongly stressed on the fact that “Pakistan could be partners with the US in peace, but never in conflict.” His statement was followed by a thundering desk thumping as the MNAs lauded the premier for his bravado and straightforwardness.

“The US was defeated in Afghanistan and they tried to shift the blame of their defeat on us,” said PM Imran Khan in his post-budget address.

He emphasized that Afghans are brothers to Pakistanis, further adding that the people of Islamabad knew them better than Washington.

We will not compromise on the country’s sovereignty, he said. Building upon the narrative he added, the U.S. had been trying to force Pakistan into bringing the Afghan-Taliban to the negotiating table. However, he added, Pakistan did not wish for any “strategic depth” in the war-torn state and would “respect the decisions of the Afghans.”

The premier further said that Pakistan chose to help America in the war against terror “but after that, we took the money and sent our own to people to Guantanamo Bay.” “Former president, Pervez Musharraf admitted to this in his book.”

“We sacrificed the lives of 70,000 people and wasted $150 billion in the war against terror,” he said, adding that it did not stop there, after the Tora Bora incident, Al Qaeda started its operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

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“We got orders to send our troops to the tribal areas in pursuit of a few hundred people,” the PM exclaimed. He highlighted that the people living in tribal areas had to face the repercussions as there was collateral damage in drone attacks.

PM Imran Khan said at the time of the war on terror, Pakistanis were unable to differentiate between their friends and foes. “How can a country launch an attack on its ally?” he asked.

The premier criticized Musharraf’s government — during the war on terror, saying “it did not have the courage to say no to the US and kept on lying to its people.”

“We must understand that when a nation does not respect itself, it is not respected by the world… we only want peace to prevail in Afghanistan, and that is in our best interest.”

Budget, electoral reforms and COVID response

In his wide-ranging NA speech, PM Imran talked about how his government has been trying to bring electoral reforms but the opposition keeps refusing to negotiate.

He also discussed how the economy snow-dived during the pandemic, but God saved Pakistan, compared to other countries.

He cited that government’s decision of imposing smart lockdowns saved Pakistan from being worst hit by the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister also said that the PTI government is trying to bring in reforms to the export, agriculture, construction, and other industries that will yield positive results for the economy.

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