Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in an interview to the Washington Post has said that approach of the ruling BJP in India was “anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan” and expressed the hope that the stalled bilateral talks could resume after the general elections in India next year.
Khan said his government was keen to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attack to book, asserting that it was in the interest of Pakistan.
“India has elections coming up. The ruling party [of India] has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach. They rebuffed all my overtures….Let’s hope that after the election is over, we can again resume talks with India,” Khan said in an interview with ‘The Washington Post’ on Thursday.
The general elections are due to be held in India in April or May 2019.
Speaking about the Mumbai attack, Khan said Pakistan wants “something done about the bombers of Mumbai”.
“I have asked our government to find out the status of the case. Resolving that the case is in our interest because it was an act of terrorism,” he said.
In the same interview, Khan asserted that they are not the ‘hired gun of US anymore.’
“I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun — given money to fight someone else’s war. It not only cost us human lives, devastation of our tribal areas, but it also cost us our dignity.”
When asked to elaborate on the ideal nature of relationship that he would like to have with Washington, Khan added: “For instance, our relationship with China is not one-dimensional. It’s a trade relationship between two countries. We want a similar relationship with the US.”
He rejected the notion that he is “anti-US”, saying that disagreeing with Washington’s policies did not make him “anti-American”.
“This is a very imperialistic approach. ‘You’re either with me or against me’,” he said.