US-Iran conflict to be a disaster: Imran; says war begets more issues

09:59 PM | 23 Jan, 2020
US-Iran conflict to be a disaster: Imran; says war begets more issues
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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that the any conflict between the United States and Iran would be a disaster, reiterating that instead of providing solutions, wars always begot more issue.

“It will be a disaster if this conflict takes place between the US and Iran… Trust me, Iran would be much much more difficult conflict than even Afghanistan,” the prime minister said in an interview with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Calling the US’ readiness for dialogue “sensible”, the prime minister said despite passage of 19 years, the solution to Afghan conflict was yet being found out with the parties still trying to keep the peace talks and ceasefire going.

“Still people are dying in Afghanistan. This is 19 years. Over a trillion dollars spent on it. Does the US want another conflict,” he remarked.

“People should never rely on military solution. You use military to solve one problem, five other problems come up – unintended consequences.”

“A conflict right now with Iran would be a disaster for developing countries… Oil prices will shoot up. Countries like us, who are just about balancing our budgets, everything will go up and it will just cause poverty,” the prime minister added.

He said : “People, who try and solve issues through bloodshed and war, they always cause mayhem in this world.”

Highlighting the Kashmir issue, the prime minister said he could not say what could be the outcome of Kashmir issue as India had been taken over by the extremist ideology of Hindutva, seeking Hindu supremacy.

Besides taking steps to change the demography of the disputed territory though constitutional amendments and putting eight million people under siege, the prime minister said, India had also enacted legislation for ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India.

He expressed his fear that the situation could spill over to other parts in the region and called for the international community’s role for taking steps to deter Indian designs.

He said that was why he had asked President Trump to intervene right now for being the president of the most powerful country.

To a question about his efforts for mediation, the prime minister said he always desired to be a partner of peace. He said Pakistan had suffered and he knew the consequences as 70,000 people had died in the war against terrorism and the country had lost hundreds of billions of economy.

Asked about his government’s performance on the economic front, the prime minister said they had inherited a bankrupt and indebted economy with huge fiscal and current deficit.

“It took a year to stabilize the economy and fortunately it stabilized. Market sentiment has gone up. Foreign direct investment has risen by 200 percent in one year and now we are moving to export-led growth, rather than consumer or import-led growth,” he remarked.

He said the government was striving to revive industrialization for wealth creation that would ultimately help alleviate the poverty.

To a question, the prime minister said year 2019 had been the safest year since 2003, courtesy to the security forces who controlled the crime and disarmed the militias, following the consensus among all political parties.

Following the improvement of the security situation, the influx of tourists had doubled and Pakistan became safe and ready for business too, he added.

Rubbishing the notion of Belt and Road Initiative as a debt trap for Pakistan, the prime minister said China assisted the country at the time when it was at rock bottom for what “we are thankful to Chinese to come and rescue us.”

Moreover, China would also transfer agriculture technology to Pakistan to enhance the yield besides assisting to train the youth.

To a question, the prime minister said his political struggle spanned over 23 years even more than 21 years of sports career and that he had broken through the two-party system.