BISHKEK: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led (PTI) government do not have to buy arms because we want to spend money on human development.
In an interview with Russian Media Outlet Sputnik on Thursday, he said that Pakistan is looking for any kind of mediation, as it believes that progress comes with peace and tensions with neighbours detract from resources that can be spent on human beings.
He said Pakistan believes in peace with all the neighbours, especially with India. He said money should be spent on getting people out of poverty, like China got millions and millions of people out of poverty.
To a question regarding Islamabad’s plans to purchase Russian weapons as well, the prime minister said that yes, we are looking for arms from Russia, and I know our military is already in touch with the Russian military.
Imran Khan also emphasized on deepening cooperation in defence, trade, energy, and other sectors between the two countries. He said Pakistan has developed its contacts with Russia, and they are developing all the time.
He said we will welcome Russian trade delegations to invest in Pakistan. He said we are opening up Pakistan for tourism, investment, and making it easier for countries to come and get a visa. There are seventy countries – and Russia is included in those countries – who can come, the Russian can come and get a visa at the airport, he added.
Replying a query, Imran Khan said Kartarpur corridor for the Sikh community has been a great initiative from Pakistan and India should respond positively to these measures to further people-to-people contacts.
The premier said that there is no way that two nuclear-armed countries should think of resolving differences through military means. Imran Khan said Kashmir is the main difference between Pakistan and India and both countries should sit on the negotiating table to resolve that issue peacefully.
He said now elections in India are over and both countries should get back on the dialogue table to resolve the Kashmir issue for peace in the region by giving people of Kashmir right of self-determination as guaranteed by the United Nations. He said India cannot subdue voice of the people of Kashmir by using force.
Regarding seeking any international mediation in reconciliation with India, Imran Khan said Pakistan is looking for any kind of mediation, as it believes that progress comes with peace and tensions with neighbours detract from resources that can be spent on human beings. He said Pakistan believes in peace with all the neighbours, especially with India. He said money should be spent on getting people out of poverty, like China got millions and millions of people out of poverty.
On plans to construct a 700-km railroad connecting Uzbekistan, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Khan said this project will open up the entire region, adding that we cannot give a timeline for this project, because it depends on the amount of funds for this railway and peace in Afghanistan.
To a question, he said peace in Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and Islamabad will always be ready to play any role for stability in the neighboring country.
Regarding Iran-Pakistan pipeline project, the prime minister said at the moment there has not been much progress, and that is because of the sanctions put on Iran by the United States.