Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan stated diplomatic efforts have introduced down pressure within the Center East following the current U.S.-Iran battle.
“We really feel we performed our half in bringing down tensions and now we have averted battle,” Khan stated throughout his interview with Anadolu Company on Thursday night.
However issues are nonetheless tense and wish some extra efforts for a everlasting resolution, he warned.
Talking about his nation’s relations with Turkey, Khan stated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is predicted to go to Islamabad in the course of February and hoped this go to would additional strengthen the brotherly relationship between Islamabad and Ankara.
Imran Khan, 67, has accomplished a one-and-half 12 months in workplace. In a wide-ranging interview with Anadolu Company, he discusses challenges and alternatives.
Relations with Turkey
Q: Pakistan’s relation with Turkey has an extended historical past even we all know subcontinent Muslims had despatched a letter to have fun the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. This relation and partnership are rising every single day. By which areas the 2 nations can work collectively and what are the priorities?
Khan: To start with, folks in Pakistan had this relationship with Turkey, which works again to the Khilafat motion, which began I believe in 1920. And the motion was primarily based on attempting to assist Turkey when it was being attacked from all sides. Folks raised some huge cash in what’s now Pakistan, additionally Muslims in India and tried to assist Turkey, when it was a really troublesome time for the Ottomans. So, it dates again even earlier than that, however that was a big step which individuals in Turkey nonetheless admire, the assistance given from this a part of the world. So that’s the foundation of this brotherly relationship between the 2 nations. And now now we have the federal government to the federal government, a really shut relationship, we’re enhancing our commerce ties. Pakistan is grateful for the way in which Turkey stood with the folks of Kashmir. The assertion given by President Erdogan on what is occurring to the folks of Kashmir by a really fascist racist BJP authorities was encouraging. So, our relationship each approach is getting stronger.
Q: What’s the focus of Pakistan’s relations with Turkey? What steps are being taken to spice up bilateral commerce, investments, financial and protection relations?
Khan: Nicely, we expect President Erdogan in the course of February and when he comes he’s bringing numerous enterprise homes, traders with him. We may have Pakistani companies and traders assembly their Turkish counterparts. The thought is that we improve our buying and selling relationship. There are numerous areas the place Turkey may help Pakistan for example within the mining sector. Pakistan is a rustic which is filled with minerals, however now we have not excavated, explored these numerous minerals like gold and copper. When President Erdogan comes, that is one space, however then there are different areas too. We would like expertise switch from Turkey in numerous areas. So, will probably be fairly a complete go to. All types of how of financial ties will likely be mentioned, aside from, after all, our strategic and diplomatic ties.
Q: You talked about in regards to the Khilafat motion. There’s one other side of Turkey and South Asia relations. Now we have entered into the 100th 12 months for the reason that Khilafat motion that began within the Indian sub-continent to assist the Ottoman Empire and Turks and that additionally led to South Asia’s motion for independence. What are the plans to commemorate the 12 months?
Khan: It is a superb concept. I didn’t consider it. I believe we also needs to have fun 100 years of that very troublesome time wherein Turkey was going via and when folks from this half, what was northern India and naturally, Indian Muslims participated on this. So, sure, it is a good concept. We wish to do one thing to commemorate that. You simply advised me about it and I immediately realized that it’s a century 12 months and we must always have some operate to keep in mind that.
Q: Turkey, Pakistan have good relations. Each nations have immense pure magnificence. What steps the federal government is planning to extend folks to folks contact?
Khan: Look, earlier than I turned the prime minister, the final place I spent the vacation with my two boys was Istanbul. I went there for a vacation. And my two sons beloved it. As a result of, , Istanbul is likely one of the most historic cities on this planet. It has an historic historical past and it has the historical past of the Byzantine after which, after all, the Ottomans may be very fascinating for folks right here. So, I took my two sons and we went throughout Istanbul for just a few days. And sure, there’s quite a lot of curiosity in tourism in Pakistan. Thus far, extra vacationers go to Turkey from Pakistan. Turkey has a extremely developed tourism business however in Pakistan, now we have not developed our tourism. Pakistan is a really various nation. It has 12 local weather zones from north to south. It has non secular tourism. It homes one of many oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization. After which, after all, one of many highest mountains on this planet. So, it’s a various nation and other people in Turkey have no idea about Pakistan. We are actually growing our tourism.
Q: Because you assumed workplace, a one-and-half 12 months in the past, what has modified in Pakistan?
Khan: Nicely, when my authorities got here to energy, we inherited two of the most important deficits in Pakistan. One the fiscal deficit, which implies what we had been amassing within the type of tax and the hole in what we had been spending. That was the most important deficit. And the second deficit was the present account deficit. In different phrases, the greenback quantity that’s coming into Pakistan was small in comparison with the going out of Pakistan. It was an enormous, the most important ever deficit in historical past. So, we needed to take steps to stabilize our economic system. As a result of when you have a giant present account deficit, it places strain in your forex. And our forex, our rupee was falling. It misplaced virtually 35% of its worth. And so, the very first thing was to stabilize the forex. And for that, we needed to contract this massive deficit. So, I need to congratulate my financial staff, they did an amazing job. Now we have curtailed the present account deficit by virtually 75%. The rupee has stabilized, confidence in our economic system is rising, our inventory market has gone up. Now we have a giant bounce in our overseas funding. So, the nation is steady proper now. Now, it’s a query of maintaining it steady. You realize, it’s nonetheless a struggling head. However we’re out of the large disaster which we had inherited.
Q: Now, you have got taken a number of steps for maintaining the economic system steady. how can folks see these within the streets?
Khan: The large deficit not solely makes your forex fall, nevertheless it additionally causes inflation and inflation hits the widespread folks. So, in the intervening time, our inflation remains to be excessive. However the forex is steady and the economic system is steady. Now, the following problem for us is to convey down inflation and begin progress within the nation. So, now we have a really bold housing plan to assemble inexpensive housing for the much less privileged part of the society. The thought of housing is to present inexpensive housing to abnormal folks. On the identical time, get the economic system transferring, present employment to folks. So that’s the subsequent program that we’re concentrating on to reinforce progress charge. So, we will present jobs to youthful folks.
Q: Your authorities is being criticized by the opposition for the economic system, politics, and the lack to battle with corruption. What can be your reply to this criticism?
Khan: You see, Pakistan inherited the same scenario as to Malaysia. When Mahathir Mohammad got here into energy, he inherited a giant deficit. And the explanation for the deficit was the corruption of the earlier ruling elite. The identical factor occurred in Pakistan. The explanation why we had been bankrupt as a result of we had corrupt governments for 10 years, the identical factor occurred with Mahathir Mohammad. However their disaster was not as dangerous as in Pakistan. So, the issue we face now additionally is that this corrupt established order.
The corrupt mafias that had been displaced, they then are continually attempting to convey down the federal government or destabilize the federal government. If we had correct opposition, they might have been applauding the steps taken by our authorities to stabilize the economic system. There was a chance we might have defaulted on our loans, our overseas loans. As a result of we had an enormous quantity of debt servicing to do and if had we defaulted on our mortgage. Then if inflation would have been doubled in Pakistan, our forex would have misplaced extra worth. So reasonably than congratulating the federal government for stabilizing the economic system, they’re frightened that if we succeed, this political mafia will likely be buried lifeless, and buried ceaselessly. So that’s the reason they’re determined and they’re criticizing the economic system. They’ve penetrations. They’ve been in energy for the previous 30 years. So, they’ve deep roots. So that is what we face. It isn’t a standard opposition. It’s a corrupt ruling elite that has been displaced by us.
Q: As an alternative of taking loans, why Pakistan is unable to make use of its geographical location to spice up commerce and make it a regional commerce hub?
Khan: You see Pakistan might be in top-of-the-line strategic areas wherever on this planet. On our south, now we have the Gulf, the world’s largest oil and vitality provide oil and gasoline. On the north, now we have China, the most important market, after which now we have Central Asia via Afghanistan, and Iran on the opposite facet. After which now we have India on the opposite facet, which is the second largest market. So Pakistan has the best location in the course of the world, which is transferring forward sooner or later, the economic system that’s rising very quick as China, after which India after all, is a giant economic system after which you have got the vitality provide. So, the situation of Pakistan is pretty much as good for those who look forward, higher than some other nation on this planet. The second factor now we have is the second youngest inhabitants on this planet. Now we have 220 million folks, a younger inhabitants. We are actually enhancing our governance system, and ease of doing enterprise. We had been one of many high 10 nations which went up 28 factors in ease of doing enterprise. So, if we will maintain progressing within the path, then Pakistan would turn out to be the hub of funding.
Q: Local weather change is Pakistan’s one of many largest issues sooner or later. You’re one of the affected nations. What has Pakistan carried out to cut back the consequences and what are the principle issues that may hit Pakistan within the close to future?
Khan: The local weather change goes to have an effect on the entire world and Pakistan, after all, is likely one of the nations that’s going to be affected extra as a result of we depend on the water in our rivers. Practically 80% of the water within the rivers comes from the glaciers within the mountains. Now because the climate warms up due to local weather change and international warming, then the glaciers have began melting at a quicker tempo. So, sooner or later, the fear is that water in our rivers will likely be decreased if the glaciers maintain melting at a quicker tempo. Now we have began a large reforestation marketing campaign. Now we have set ourselves a goal of 10 billion bushes within the subsequent 4 years. And secondly, now we have determined that we’ll change our vitality combine. That’s 40% can be renewables within the subsequent 10 years. In order that carbon dioxide emissions are decreased. However after all, Pakistan will do no matter it will probably. However, the entire world has to hitch in if it has to, to cut back the affect of worldwide warming.
Q: Blockade in Jammu Kashmir has now crossed six months. What has been modified positively since then in Kashmir? Do you see any outcomes of your efforts within the worldwide space?
Khan: You see, initially, to know what is occurring in Kashmir, you need to perceive what is occurring in India. And what’s taking place in India is that India has been taken over by extremist racist ideology, which is known as the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] and this ideology believes that India belongs to Hindus solely. It is referred to as a Hindutva. This ideology was impressed by the Nazis within the 1930s. They consider, similar to the Nazis believed within the alien race, the German race, they believed within the Hindu race. The one drawback is that they have 500 million individuals who will likely be excluded in India from this unique racist ideology. These RSS extremists assassinated Gandhi [India’s freedom icon]. They had been declared as a terrorist group in India thrice. Now, since they’ve taken over India, the minorities have been squeezed. There was violence in opposition to minorities, particularly Muslims. However in Kashmir what they’ve carried out is that they have violated their structure. And so they have modified the standing of Kashmir, unilaterally. Kashmir is a dispute between Pakistan and India, a dispute acknowledged by the world neighborhood by the UN Safety Council. And so, what they’ve carried out is that they have acted in opposition to the Safety Council resolutions. Then there was a bilateral settlement, Shimla settlement between Pakistan and India. They’ve gone in opposition to that and so they have annexed Kashmir. However to try this, they’ve clamped down a curfew on eight million folks of Kashmir for nearly six months now. And so they have 900,000 troops there. They’ve put all of the management in prisons. They’ve whisked away hundreds of younger youngsters into numerous prisons outdoors Kashmir. So, it’s a critical scenario there. And so, Pakistan, after all, has raised it on each discussion board and on the UN, with humanitarian organizations and Amnesty Worldwide. We’re very appreciative of President Erdogan as a result of he condemned it within the UN. What is occurring in Kashmir is prohibited and violates humanitarian legal guidelines.
Q: How lengthy can Kashmiris dwell on this situation? What’s your future technique for fixing this problem?
Khan: A method needs to be to strategy the world, organizations just like the UN. And the explanation is essential as a result of these worldwide organizations got here into existence primarily to cease this type of injustice happening on this planet. There’s a hazard what India has carried out in Kashmir, is not going to die down. There’s going to be violence in Kashmir. There will likely be violence as a result of each time they carry the curfew, folks will come out protesting in opposition to it. And when their protests, they’ve 900,000 troops, which is able to use violence in opposition to these residents. And we felt that it will spill over to Pakistan. And that’s the reason the UN ought to act.
Q: India has taken different steps about Muslims, corresponding to adopting the citizenship regulation, Babri Mosque determination of the court docket. And do you suppose that it’s going to have any impact on Pakistan as a result of in the event that they begin to make this rule and exclude Muslims as a scenario like Myanmar will emerge right here?
Khan: Nicely, what they’ve carried out in India is that they’ve introduced this laws, the Citizenship Modification Act and Nationwide Register of Residents. And mainly, it’s focusing on the 200 million Muslims residing in India. That is precisely what occurred in Myanmar after they first began the Registration Act. And that’s how they exclude the Muslims. After which the genocide of Muslims came about. I’m afraid that is the place it’s heading in India. As a result of this was all the time the ideology of RSS. Folks didn’t find out about this, as a result of they didn’t know RSS. However anybody who has studied ideology of founding fathers of RSS will perceive that this authorities is precisely happening that path by attempting to exclude the Muslims as second class residents, and even by deregistration them via the citizen act. However their drawback is that they’re coping with 200 million Muslims. It’s a large minority. And I believe there will likely be issues inside India. It is going to polarize India as a result of not simply the Muslims will get up in opposition to it. I believe the opposite minorities that are Sikhs, Christians, even the decrease castes, even the tribal folks, and I believe this, this is able to be about 500 million folks in India which will likely be excluded from this, due to unique racist RSS ideology. And subsequently, I believe much more than us, the principle injury will likely be carried out to Indian society itself.
Q: Is there any doable hazard that Pakistan and Bangladesh will face an immigration drawback if the scenario in India forces these folks to depart the nation?
Khan: I believe Bangladesh is already frightened as a result of in Assam they deregistered virtually 2 million folks there. And 60-70% are Muslims. I have no idea the precise quantity. However what occurs to those folks, whom they are saying are usually not half Indian residents. The place will they go? Bangladesh has already stated they aren’t taking them. So the place will these folks go?
Q: There’s a commerce battle between some Western nations and China. So how a lot this commerce battle might have an effect on Pakistan. Additionally, China is presently dealing with a coronavirus epidemic?
Khan: Nicely, the coronavirus is we hope that will probably be contained. We pray for China as a result of, , it’s terrible what they have to be going via there. So, and naturally, Pakistan is extending, all assist doable. I can’t say about this commerce battle between the U.S. and China. How lengthy it will go on, nevertheless it doesn’t have an effect on Pakistan it impacts China.
Q: Pakistan is working with China in lots of areas particularly on CPEC, however some western nations saying that CPEC is getting your nation right into a debt lure from China? Secondly, are you negotiating with different nations like Turkey to hitch CPEC?
Khan: Firstly, the debt from China is a really small half, a small proportion of our complete debt portfolio. So, the factor is kind of unfounded that Pakistan is getting right into a debt lure of China. Secondly, sure, the connectivity, we hope that when the Turkish delegation is available in a few weeks, we hope to contain them in utilizing CPEC for additional connectivity, and we hope to contain turkey on this [CPEC].
Q: Your authorities is attempting to enhance regional stability particularly bringing peace in Afghanistan is one in every of your foremost worldwide politics strikes. What’s the final level the world and your efforts got here? Are you able to see any constructive future as outcomes of those efforts?
Khan: Nicely, let me simply state the truth that I firmly consider that navy conflicts don’t resolve issues. They enhance issues. They’ve unintended penalties, you attempt to resolve one drawback, it creates much more issues. And now we have seen this. Now we have seen the 2 Afghan Wars, one the Soviets, after they invaded Afghanistan, and we noticed the type of bloodshed that came about, after which the affect on Pakistan, we noticed the battle on terror once more, that then this time, the US in Afghanistan the affect on Pakistan.
So, I’m a agency believer that conflicts are usually not a technique to resolve issues. And subsequently, we might strive all the pieces to keep away from one other battle.
Last item we would like as a neighbor, Iran combating with brotherly nation, Saudi Arabia, or the U.S. and Iran in some type of battle. As a result of we consider everybody will undergo and nobody wins over. It’s simply that folks get broken much less, however everybody will get broken. And we must always study from the expertise of China. Whereas this battle on terror was happening, China was constructing this nice infrastructure. You have a look at the prepare infrastructure, I imply, it’s in all probability one of the best on this planet. So, they had been placing the assets in growing infrastructure, whereas these conflicts had been happening and have a look at everywhere in the Muslim world, from Syria to, , to Libya to Iraq, what occurred there Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, it’s simply dying and destruction. So, I really feel Pakistan’s function will likely be now to place out fires to play the function of conciliation, getting folks collectively reasonably than becoming a member of any conflicts.
Q: You are attempting very laborious to not have any battle within the area. Do you see any outcomes?
Khan: I believe, , we will solely strive our greatest. The Almighty solely expects us to strive our greatest the remaining we go away in his arms.
Q: Thus far, any outcomes for “placing out fires” — as a result of as you talked about once more, Iran is a neighbor, you have got pleasant ties with Gulf nations, and in addition [U.S. President Donald ] Trump requested you performing as “go between” with Iran — any outcomes for that diplomatic motion?
Khan: Nicely, after the missile assault in Saudi Arabia on the oil facility, Pakistan performed its half. We spoke to Saudi Arabia, we went to Iran, spoke to the U.S. final September, October. And truly, we really feel we performed our aside bringing down tensions. However after all, , there needs to be some extra for a everlasting resolution. For the time being, issues are nonetheless tense. However for the time, I really feel that now we have averted battle. There was a time when it appeared that there could possibly be a battle. However in the intervening time, it seems to be as if issues are cooling down. Nevertheless, I believe extra efforts are wanted and we will likely be attempting our greatest.
Q: If battle has been averted, isn’t that a piece of huge information?
Khan: Nicely, averted, we predict we averted a battle. I imply, this isn’t speaking about when the missile strikes came about in Saudi Arabia after we tried and we tried our greatest to play our half. However, , we will solely try to we must always all the time strive as a result of there’s nothing worse than a battle amongst neighbors. Now we have seen what occurred in Afghanistan, and particularly within the Gulf. If there’s a battle, oil costs will go up. All of the poor nations on this planet will undergo.
Anadolu Company: Prime minister, thanks very a lot certainly for giving this chance for an interview.