Islamabad– Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again commended India for its independent foreign policy as he slammed the West for being critical of India for buying Russian oil.
Addressing a huge gathering in Lahore, Imran Khan played a video clip of Foreign Minister S Jaishankar from Bratislava Forum held in Slovakia and praised him for standing firm to the US pressure over buying cheap oil from Russia.
“If India which got independence at the same time as Pakistan and if New Delhi can take a firm stand and make their foreign policy as per the need of its people then who are they (Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif government) who are towing the line,” Imran Khan said at the gathering, a video of which was shared by several media outlets.
“They (US) ordered India to not buy oil from Russia. India is US’ strategic ally, Pakistan is not. Let us see what India’s Foreign Minister said when the US asked them not to buy Russian oil.”
Imran Khan then played out External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s video clip.
“Jaishankar is telling them who are you? Jaishakar said that Europe is buying gas from Russia and we will buy it as people need it. This is what an independent country is (‘yeh hoti hai azad haqumat’),” he said while praising India.
He also slammed the Shehbaz Sharif government for bowing down to US pressure on buying Russian oil.
“We had spoken to Russia about buying cheaper oil but this government has no courage to say no to US pressure. Fuel prices are skyrocketing, people are below the poverty line. I am against this slavery.”
The clip of Jaishankar played during Lahore Jalsa was of June 3, when in response to a question on India buying Russian oil, he counter questioned, “Is buying Russian gas not funding the war?”
Jaishankar made these remarks at the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum being held in Slovakia on the topic ‘Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific Region’.
He had hit back at the unfair criticism of Indian oil purchase from Russia amid the Ukraine war that has created a knock-off effect on the world economy.
While defending India’s oil imports from Russia, Jaishankar stressed that it is important to understand how the Ukraine conflict is impacting the developing countries. He also questioned why only India was being questioned while Europe continues to import gas from Russia amid the Ukraine war.
Responding to a question on whether India’s oil imports from Russia is not funding the ongoing Ukraine war, Jaishankar said, “Look I don’t want to sound argumentative. If India funding Russia oil is funding the war…Tell me then buying Russian gas is not funding the war? It’s only Indian money and Russian oil coming to India funding the war and not Russia’s gas coming to Europe not funding? Let’s be a little even-handed.”