Pedestrians listen to Imran Khan addressing the nation on television at a market in Karachi. AFP
Gulf Today Report
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said he was "not anti-American" or "anti-Indian" or against any country, and wanted stronger relations with all nations based on mutual respect, honour and dignity.
During an interactive question and answer session with the public, the premier stated that he did not feel mal-intent towards the US, but rather aimed towards a mutual friendship with the superpower, free from interference in domestic affairs against public interest, The Express Tribune reported.
"I am not against any country. I am not anti-Indian or anti-American. But we can be against policies. I want friendship with them and there should be respect," Imran was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
He said he was against countries that disrespect other sovereign countries and simply issue orders. He called out opposition parties, alleging that "they served these foreign countries as their yes man."
Responding to a query, Imran said Pakistan cannot progress unless such people come to the parliament who think of the country. He said party tickets for the elections will be awarded after careful consideration and that he will personally interview the candidates. He said the politics has ended of those who defected from the party.
Responding to a caller from Karachi, he said his party wants a directly elected mayor for Karachi to ensure availability of civic facilities and development.
"I have received news that MPAs are being brought to a hotel in Lahore. People who are against the horse-trading have vowed to protest outside that hotel,” he said and added that the purchase and sale of MPAs was the politics of Changa Manga.
"The farce of no-confidence motion started five weeks ago. Democracy has lost its worth in the eyes of the people due to the politics of Changa Manga. It’s not democracy to form a government after purchasing MPAs,” said the premier.
He said that the no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition was a foreign-imported conspiracy. "Therefore, the National Assembly deputy speaker gave a ruling against it,” maintained the premier.
"Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar sit abroad. They had been convicted by courts,” added he and maintained that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had been swept from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"I would love to debate with Narendra Modi on TV," Imran told Russia Today in an interview, adding that it would be beneficial for the billion people in the subcontinent if differences could be resolved through debate.
Imran said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had said that if the conspiracy will be proved, he would stand by his side, adding that Shahbaz does not need to stand by his side, but should apologise to him.
Speaking at a public rally in Lahore, Imran claimed that "several conspiracies” were being hatched to disqualify him and to reach a deal to pave way for Nawaz Sharif, to return home and enter active politics once again.
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