ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said it is inappropriate to pressure countries to take sides and stressed that the ties between Pakistan and China will not be affected by any sort of pressure.
In an interaction with the Chinese media, the prime minister said that Pakistan’s ties with China will not change, no matter how much pressure there is.
“The United States expects Pakistan to choose a side. This is not appropriate.”
“The relationship between Pakistan and China is very deep, it’s not just the governments, but it’s a people-to-people relationship,” he added.
“Whatever will happen…[the] relationship between our two countries, no matter what pressure is put on us, is not going to change,” the Prime Minister said in response to a question.
He mentioned the US-sponsored regional alliance, ‘Quad’ including India and a couple of other countries, and said it was part of a great power rivalry in the region that could create problems.
“Pakistan thinks that it is very unfair of the US and other western powers……[to ask]…for countries like Pakistan to take sides. Why should we take sides? We should have a good relationship with everyone,” he said.
The prime minister said when Pakistan had been in trouble politically or internationally or had conflicts with its neighbour, China always stood with it.
The people of China have a special place in the hearts of the people of Pakistan, he said.
“You remember friends who stand with you in all times. In good times, everyone stands with you, but in difficult, tough, and bad times, you remember those people who stood by you.”
PM Khan praised President Xi for his success in the fight against poverty and corruption in China.
“China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty in a few years, which is a great achievement. We want to further develop political, economic and trade relations between the two countries.”
PM Khan said that Pakistanis are impressed by the Chinese president’s fight against corruption and consider him “a great politician of modern times”. “President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is effective and successful.”