Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan praises India’s foreign policy vis-à-vis Jaishankar’s defence of Russian oil

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan did it again—he praised India. At a massive rally in Lahore Saturday, Khan played a video clip of Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar’s defence of his country’s position on buying cheap oil from Russia against Western pressure.
Days before his ouster from office and since after, Khan had been giving India’s example as a country pursuing an independent foreign policy hewed to its people’s interests, although he is a known critic of PM Narendra Modi’s NDA government
Khan spoke highly of India’s foreign policy during his address and praised Jaishankar for standing firm to US pressure over buying oil from Russia. “If India, which got independence at the same time as Pakistan, can take a firm stand and make their foreign policy according to the needs of its people then why can’t Pakistan do it?” he asked.
“The US had imposed sanctions on Moscow when war broke out in Ukraine. It ordered India not to buy oil from Russia. Delhi is Washington’s strategic ally. Pakistan is not. Let us see what India’s foreign minister said when the US asked them not to buy Russian oil,” Imran said before airing Jaishankar’s clip from his June 3 address at the Bratislava Forum in Slovakia.
Responding to a question on India buying Russian oil, Jaishankar had countered: “Is buying Russian gas not funding the war (Ukraine war)? Tell me, Russian gas is not funding the war? It’s only Indian money, oil coming to India that funds (the war) and not gas coming to Europe?”
Pakistan’s coalition government has been repeatedly criticising Khan for his pro-Indian remarks, with some of the cabinet members sarcastically suggesting him to leave the country and settle in India.
Observers see in Khan’s remarks an indirect attempt to put pressure on Pakistan’s powerful military establishment that plays a key role in the country’s foreign policy. “The civilian government has a symbolic part in Pakistan’s policy towards India, Afghanistan, Iran and the US. Without the military’s consent, it’s nearly impossible for the government to take independent decisions regarding ties with Delhi, Kabul, Tehran and Washington,” said Asad Khan, an Islamabad-based analyst.

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