Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari defended former prime minister Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow which according to Imran Khan was the reason behind his ouster as the United States was not happy.
In his maiden visit to the US, Bilawal addressed a press conference in New York and said he completely defends Imran Khan’s visit to Russia as there was no possibility that Imran Khan would have known about Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine.
“As far as the former Prime Minister’s trip to Russia, I would absolutely defend the former prime minister of Pakistan. Pakistan’s prime minister conducted that trip as part of his foreign policy and without knowing that — no one is psychic, no one has a sixth sense — there’s no way we could have possibly known that that would be the time the current conflict will start,” Bilawal said while addressing the press at the UN headquarters on Thursday, and added that “it is very unfair to punish Pakistan for such an innocent action.”
“Of course, Pakistan is absolutely clear as far as it comes to the principles of the United Nations,” Bilawal added.
While Imran Khan’s Moscow visit exactly at the time when Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised the military invasion into Ukraine, leading to the ongoing war, came under fire, Imran Khan has made it clear that it was not his decision.
The establishment (Army) gave him a go-ahead to continue his scheduled trip to Russia. Imran Khan alleged that the US was miffed with him because of his Moscow visit, though the US has time and again distanced from Pakistan’s internal crisis in the run-up to the no-trust motion.
Imran Khan met Putin on February 24, the day the war started.
The former prime minister said his visit was scheduled long ago and Pakistan was trying to establish its ties with Russia as Pakistan-Russia ties have always been strained as Pakistan had sided with the US against Russia in the Cold War fought against the Soviets and aided the US in Afghanistan.