Imran Khan again defends his Russia visit in latest interview with US media

11:55 AM | 31 May, 2022
Imran Khan again defends his Russia visit in latest interview with US media
Source: A screengrab of Sky News Twitter video

ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister and PTI chairman, Imran Khan, reiterated that his visit to Russia was planned long before and that he was not aware of Moscow’s plan to launch military operation in Ukraine on the same day he met with Vladimir Putin. 

Since his ouster through a no-confidence vote, the former premier has been claiming that the US was angry over his visit to Russia, which was conducted in February this year, and it was behind the regime change in Pakistan. 

In a video-link interview with Sky News, the PTI chief said: "How the hell was I supposed to know that the day I landed in Moscow that Putin was going into Ukraine.

"I have never believed in military solutions, ours was a bilateral meeting, it was planned long before.

"We didn't realise that when I would reach there Putin would go into Ukraine. How was I supposed to know and how can you be punished for that?"

Khan highlighted that his visit aimed at discussing bilateral agreements with Russian officials, adding that he does not support any military solutions in Ukraine. 

Responding to a question about Pakistan’s close ties with China and Russia, the PTI chief said: “There are 50 million people in Pakistan below the poverty line, I was not elected for them to correct all the wrongs that are going on in the world."

"My responsibility was to my country and so all my relationships, whether it was with China, with the United States, with Russia, were for the benefits of our own people," he said.

The former prime minister of Pakistan also highlighted worsening situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said that India has violated United Nations resolutions in Kashmir, as people in the occupied territory have been denied their rights. 

"Did anyone speak against it? There are atrocities going on in Kashmir, 100,000 people in Kashmir have died. Has anyone condemned India for that?

"No because India is an ally, allow us to be neutral too so we can look after our people."

When asked about the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, Khan said"there was never going to be a military solution" in war-hit country.

"I am not responsible or a spokesman for the Taliban, if there was any other solution after 20 years of war, you should have found some solution," he said, adding that the Afghan Taliban were never supported by Islamabad. 

Talking about prevailing political tension in Pakistan, he called for fresh election in the country, adding that “foreign-imposed” government cannot be accepted. 

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