Pakistan’s former prime minister, Imran Khan, has insisted he wasn’t conscious that Russia was going to invade Ukraine on the identical day he met Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Chatting with Sky’s Mark Austin, Mr Khan, who was ousted by opposition events in April, has been closely criticised for having face-to-face talks with Russia’s president and shaking arms with him simply hours after the battle in Ukraine started on 24 February.
On a video hyperlink from Peshawar, Mr Khan, who arrived in Russia on 23 February for a two-day go to, mentioned: “How the hell was I presupposed to know that the day I landed in Moscow that Putin was going into Ukraine.
“I’ve by no means believed in navy options, ours was a bilateral assembly, it was deliberate lengthy earlier than.
“We did not realise that once I would attain there Putin would go into Ukraine. How was I presupposed to know and how are you going to be punished for that?”
He added he’s in opposition to navy options in Ukraine and the aim of his go to to the Kremlin was to debate bilateral agreements.
The previous PM was additionally questioned about his authorities’s shut ties with China and Russia, with Mr Khan stating that he was elected to serve the folks of Pakistan.
“There are 50 million folks in Pakistan under the poverty line, I used to be not elected for them to right all of the wrongs which can be happening on this planet.”
“My accountability was to my nation and so all my relationships, whether or not it was with China, with america, with Russia, have been for the advantages of our personal folks,” he mentioned.
Mr Khan additionally accused India of violating United Nations resolutions in Kashmir, saying Pakistan’s neighbour has “illegally taken away the appropriate of the Kashmiri folks”.
“Did anybody converse in opposition to it? There are atrocities happening in Kashmir, 100,000 folks in Kashmir have died. Has anybody condemned India for that?
“No as a result of India is an ally, enable us to be impartial too so we will take care of our folks.”
Pakistan shares a big border with Afghanistan and Mr Khan was requested in regards to the Taliban takeover of the nation final 12 months. He acknowledged “there was by no means going to be a navy resolution” in Afghanistan.
“I’m not accountable or a spokesman for the Taliban, if there was another resolution after 20 years of battle, you need to have discovered some resolution,” he mentioned, including that Pakistan has by no means supported the Taliban.
“Pakistan is the collateral harm of Afghanistan.”
In April, Mr Khan misplaced a no-confidence vote after opposition events introduced a movement in opposition to him, blaming the previous cricketer for failing to revive the financial system and deal with corruption.
Right this moment, he has referred to as for a basic election and mentioned the Pakistani folks do not desire a “foreign-imposed authorities the place members of our celebration have been purchased”.
“We really feel that moderately than another person imposing a authorities on the nation, let the folks determine,” he mentioned.