LALAMUSA: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, who had for months accused America of fomenting a conspiracy to oust him from power, has in a recent interview expressed a desire to restore relations with Washington.
In an interview with the Financial Times following an assassination attempt last month, Imran said he will no longer “blame” the US and wants a “dignified” relationship if re-elected.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s over; it’s behind me,” he said of the alleged conspiracy, which both PM Shehbaz Sharif and the US had denied.
“The Pakistan I want to lead must have good relationships with everyone, especially the United States.
“Our relationship with the US has been as of a master-servant relationship, or a master-slave relationship, and we’ve been used like a hired gun. But for that, I blame my own government more than the US.”
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The ousted prime minister criticized Pakistan’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, first started under his government in 2019 but revived by the coalition government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, for pushing austerity measures such as subsidy-free fuel and power prices and spiralling inflation.
“When you contract the economy, and some of the IMF measures make your economy shrink, how are you supposed to pay off your loans, because your loans keep increasing,” he asked. “Consumption has crashed. So my question is: how are we going to pay our debts? We are certainly going to head towards default.”
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