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‘Powerful’ country angered by recent visit to Russia: PM

Imran stresses need for having an independent foreign policy 8Says country suffered due to ‘dependency syndrome’

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that a “powerful” country had been “angered” by his visit to Russia in February and had questioned his decision to go ahead with the two-day tour amid Russia-Ukraine tensions.

He, however, did not name the country in his speech at the Islamabad Security Dialogue. The premier noted that the unnamed country’s ally, India, was importing oil from Russia at a time when the West was trying to impose sanctions in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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“Today, I read the British foreign secretary’s statement that they can’t say anything to India as it has an independent foreign policy. So what are we then?” he asked, adding that the blame lay with Pakistan. “No country is respected unless it stands on its own two feet,” he said, adding that the reason why Pakistan could not touch its peak potential was its ‘dependency syndrome’. “A country without an independent foreign policy remains unable to secure the interests of its people,” he said.

During his speech, the premier also praised India for its independent foreign policy that was centred around its people. “They protect their independent foreign policy.”

He began his address by highlighting the importance of the event. “In our minds, security was defined as military [might],” he said, adding that it was, in fact, “multi-dimensional”.

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He said that the biggest “insecurity” for a nation is when there is a small island of wealthy citizens surrounded by a sea of underprivileged. “A country which does not have inclusive prosperity will always remain insecure.”

He regretted the fact that many were unable to understand the concept of Riyasat-e-Madina. “They think that I talk about Riyasat-e-Madina to garner votes and use Islam for political purposes.”

Commenting on the state of Madina, he called it a “unique” model where the people were uplifted to make a great civilisation. “This is a part of history, not mythology,” he said, adding that this model was the very definition of national security.

“They proved that when a nation takes care of its weakest people, that is real security … security follows when every citizen owns their country,” he said, adding that the military could only give you “limited security”.

Turning towards Pakistan, the premier labelled “unequal development” in Pakistan as the biggest reason for the country’s insecurity. “A small elite laid capture to our resources and did not allow its competition to succeed.”

He went on to say that the same elite also introduced an English medium education system, which meant that good jobs would only go to those who spoke the language. Imran further said that this also had an impact on the health and justice system, where only the affluent were being catered to.

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