Imran Khan applauds India yet again, calls for fresh polls in Pak at power show

Published on Apr 22, 2022 08:14 AM IST

Imran Khan had earlier too praised India's foreign policy amid the debate over purchase of oil from Russia, facing sanctions over the Ukraine war. 

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he addresses supporters during a rally, in Lahore, Pakistan April 21, 2022. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza(REUTERS)
Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures as he addresses supporters during a rally, in Lahore, Pakistan April 21, 2022. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza(REUTERS)

Imran Khan on Thursday yet again called for fresh polls in Pakistan - weeks after his ouster as the country's prime minister - while he addressed yet another power show, this time in Lahore. He also praised India yet again for its foreign policy, stressing that the country "thinks for its own people before the benefit of other countries". The remark was meant to be a jibe at his rivals as Khan kept telling the gathering: “I have never seen such a huge crowd”.

"India, which is a strategic ally of the United States, is taking oil from Russia. When New Delhi was told to not to buy the oil, it straightaway said - 'we take decisions based on what's good for our country'. India's foreign policy is for its own people while ours is for the benefit of another country. They (my rivals) also did not like it. They did not even like our bonhomie with China... that's when the conspiracy began (against my government)," Khan, 69, said at the huge gathering on Thursday. 

Khan, who has been told by his critics to "go to India" in the midst of his praises, has earlier too made similar comments to defend his decisions as the prime minister.

HT S Jaishankar had recently said that New Delhi's monthly purchase was less than Europe's in an afternoon.

On Thursday, Imran Khan also defended his visit to Russia - when the Ukraine war had just started in February - saying that he had gone for his "own people", and to satisfy the country's energy needs. The cricketer-politician drew criticism for his "exciting time to be in Russia" comment while Europe was on the edge.

The PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) leader who has been alleging a foreign conspiracy behind the fall of his government yet again called for fresh polls in the country "at the earliest". "We will never accept the imported government, there is only one way to fix the mistake, and that is immediate elections," he stressed.

"My rivals should remember that the conspiracy can't succeed until the likes of Mir Jafar, who allied with the British for his own interest, are sitting here," the 69-year-old cricketer-politician said, invoking history and the general who is remembered for deception.

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