India’s foreign policy drew praise from an unlikely quarter on Sunday – from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who commended New Delhi’s independent stand on foreign policy matters.
The comment came during a speech in which the Pakistan Prime Minister listed his government’s achievements as he faces the opposition’s no-confidence motion against him. The vote will take place on March 25.
“Main aaj Hindustan ko daad deta hun (I praise our neighbouring country Hindustan) as they always had independent foreign policy. Today, India is in their (America) alliance and they are part of QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue); they say that are neutral. They are importing oil from Russia despite sanctions because their policy is for the betterment of people,” Mr Khan said during a public rally in the Malakand area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Unlike fellow members of the Quad alliance – Japan, Australia and the United States – India has abstained in three UN votes condemning Moscow’s actions, calling only for a halt to the violence.
Mr Khan was in Moscow on the day of the Ukraine invasion and his government has also abstained from voting against Russia.
Ministers close to Mr Khan allege that the no-confidence motion is part of a conspiracy by foreign powers in the west to topple his government.
Mr Khan’s opponents have accused him of bad governance and economic incompetence as inflation has soared. In a telling comment, Mr Khan said he did not join politics to check the prices of “aloo and tamatar“.
Pakistan Army spokesman last week told the media that the military will remain neutral, to which Mr Khan responded days after while addressing a rally in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by saying humans take sides and “only animals are neutral”.
The Army did not respond to Mr Khan’s barb, but many interpreted it as quite a predicament that Mr Khan has got himself into after three and a half years of rule.