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Asked to condemn Moscow, but followed India's example of 'neutral' stand in Russia-Ukraine War: Imran Khan

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief said that after his refusal, Gen Bajwa himself condemned Russia at a security seminar to appease the US.

Hritika Mitra Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Lahore Updated on: February 14, 2023 21:26 IST
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan
Image Source : FILE Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed that the former Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had asked him to condemn Russia in its act of invading Ukraine, but he refused to do so citing India's stand on the matter. 

"On my return from Russia visit (a year ago being premier), Gen Bajwa asked me to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I told him that India, which is a strategic ally of the US, is staying neutral. So, Pakistan should stay neutral,” Khan said while talking to students and religious scholars on Monday.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief said that after his refusal, Gen Bajwa himself condemned Russia at a security seminar to appease the US.

Justifying his Russia visit, 70-year-old Khan, who was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion in April last year, said: "I went to Russia and convinced President Vladimir Putin to give wheat and fuel to Pakistan at cheaper rates as being supplied to India.

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With the support of Russia, India reduced its inflation from 7.5 percent to 5.5 percent but Pakistan’s inflation rate rose from 12 percent to 30 percent." Khan's maiden official visit to Moscow triggered a controversy back home as it happened the day President Putin ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine.

The cricketer-turned-politician said Bajwa wanted him to condemn Putin to appease the United States. "But I put Pakistan's interest above," he said.

Khan has also held Gen Bajwa, the "main player", responsible for the conspiracy that resulted in his ouster from power. "Bajwa is a source of all the crises plaguing Pakistan today," he said.

Earlier, Khan described Gen Bajwa, who retired in November last year, as the "super-king" and said his three-and-a-half-year stint in the Prime Minister’s Office was more like a "puppet".

“Gen Bajwa had become an expert in everything, including economy, politics, and foreign policy. Bajwa used to get the credit for good decisions and Khan used to serve as a punching bag for every wrong decision," he lambasted.

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