Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has once again praised India for its independent foreign policy, as the leader slammed Western countries for being critical of India for buying Russian oil despite the threat of sanctions amid Ukraine war.
Since his ouster from power in April, Imran Khan has decried a US-led foreign conspiracy against him. While criticizing the Joe Biden administration, Imran Khan on many occasions lauded India for not giving in to the demand of the West and continuing to purchase Russian oil despite being a “strategic ally” of the US.
During a huge gathering in Lahore last week, Imran Khan’s PTI party played out a video clip of India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar from the Bratislava Forum, held in June, where the Indian minister said that New Delhi will do what is best for their people.
“When the Indian foreign minister was asked not to buy Russian oil. He said who are they to dictate India’s foreign policy. Europe is buying Russia’s oil and people need it. He said that they will continue to buy it,” Imran Khan said while quoting EAM Jaishankar and added “Yeh hota hai aazad mulk.” (This is what an independent nation looks like)
Drawing a comparison between the two countries, the PTI chief slammed the Shehbaz government for bowing down to US pressure on buying Russian oil.
“We had spoken to Russia about buying cheaper oil but this government has no courage to say no to US pressure. Fuel prices are skyrocketing, people are below the poverty line. I am against this slavery,” Khan said.
“If India which got independence at the same time as Pakistan and if New Delhi can take a firm stand and make their foreign policy as per the need of its people then who are they (Shehbaz Sharif government) who are toeing the line,” Imran Khan said at the gathering.
Jaishankar’s remarks which Imran Khan referred to was delivered at the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum being held in Slovakia in June this year.
During the forum held in June, EAM Jaishankar hit back at the unfair criticism against Indian oil purchase from Russia amid the Ukraine war that has created a knock-off effect on the world economy.
While defending India’s oil imports from Russia, Jaishankar stressed that it is important to understand how the Ukraine conflict is impacting the developing countries. He also questioned why only India was being questioned while Europe continues to import gas from Russia amid the Ukraine war.
Responding to a question on whether India’s oil imports from Russia are not funding the Ukraine war, Jaishankar asked, “India buying Russia oil is funding the war… Tell me then buying Russian gas is not funding the war?”
“It’s only Indian money and Russian oil coming to India funding the war and not Russia’s gas coming to Europe not funding? Let’s be a little even-handed,” the external affairs minister had said.