'Don't go' to Russia, US national security chief told Pakistani counterpart: FM Qureshi
ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has revealed that United States' national security advisor had called his Pakistani counterpart ahead of a planned visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Russia in February and said “don’t go” to Moscow.
Speaking on the floor of National Assembly in which the no-confidence vote to oust Khan from the office was on the agenda, Qureshi said he wanted to bring this to record that the national security adviser of the US called the Pakistani NSA and "categorically asked us not to proceed with the Russia tour."
“Tell me, where does it happen that a sovereign state is stopped in this way from a bilateral visit? Where does it happen that one country interferes in another's bilateral matters, and what sovereign and self-respecting nation would accept this?”
However, he mentioned that the Moscow visit had nothing to do with the Ukraine war as it was planned earlier. "Discussions were going on for two months, the date came, and PM decided to go, it's on record," he said.
Qureshi made the statements days after Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Maria Zakharova slammed the US for ‘punishing’ Imran Khan for the visit. Premier Khan met Vladimir Putin in Moscow earlier in February in a move that remained in limelight.
The Russian official also mentioned a high-ranking US official made it clear that a partnership between Islamabad and Washington was directly linked with Khan’s ouster.
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