PM Imran Khan says ‘no free lunch when you rely on aid’


Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan has paid a heavy price in its relationship with the United States (US), adding that the country suffered whenever it relied on loans and aids from foreign countries.

“Whenever you rely on other people for aid and loans, there’s no free lunch … Pakistan has paid a heavy price in its relationship with the US,” the premier said in an interview with TRT World which was telecasted on Monday. “Pakistan has allowed itself to be used [in past].”

To a question, the prime minister said Pakistan desires good relations with the US that is based on equality and “we are ready to become an ally with the US for peace in Afghanistan”.

On the existing and emerging challenges, PM Imran admitted that Pakistan is facing multiple crises including poor economy and foreign debt, assuring that the government will meet all these challenges with effective economic policies.

The premier maintained that the country’s economy has improved during the last four months since his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), came into power after the July 25, 2018, general elections.

On Pakistan’s strategic relationship with China, the premier said, “In this doom and gloom which we inherited, the Chinese have been a breath of a fresh air for us, they have been helpful to us.”

He said Pakistan wants dialogue with India but New Delhi has refused Islamabad’s offer several times. “In Kashmir, the Indian brutality in the last year has just been mind-boggling,” PM Imran commented.

He said that India is involved in human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir, warning that they will never be successful in suppressing the freedom movement of the Kashmiris.

The PM defended his countrywide accountability campaign, saying “Corruption not only siphons off money which should be used for human beings, it also destroys institutions.”