Following months-long rhetoric against Washington’s interference in Pakistan’s domestic political matters and building a narrative around an American conspiracy behind his ouster from the government, PTI Chairman Imran Khan expressed a desire to mend his ties with the US, it emerged on Sunday.
The PTI chairman was removed from office through a vote of no-confidence by the then-opposition on April 9 — becoming the first premier to be removed through the move. Khan — who says America treats Pakistan as a “slave” — blamed PM Shahbaz Sharif and the US for his ouster, however, both deny the claims.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Khan said that “he no longer blamed the US” and wants “dignified” ties with the country if he comes back to power.
Referring to the alleged conspiracy, Khan said that “it was over”.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s over, it’s behind me. The Pakistan I want to lead must have good relationships with everyone, especially the United States,” he said.
“Our relationship with the US has been as of a master-servant relationship, or a master-slave relationship, and we’ve been used like a hired gun. But for that I blame my own governments more than the US,” the publication quoted the former premier as saying.
Following a rise in popularity due in part to his anti-American rhetoric, many observers now predict that Khan and PTI might witness success in the next general elections due to be held next year.
Khan is leading a much-touted anti-government march with convoys from different cities of Pakistan moving towards Islamabad, and is insistent on “not returning until targets are achieved”. The PTI chief demands a date for the general elections ahead of the due time.
The long march was halted last week as it faced an unfortunate delay after the former premier was targetted in an attempted assassination attack in Wazirabad.