ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, terming an independent foreign policy crucial for the country, said the reason why Pakistan could not touch its peak potential was its ‘dependency syndrome’ on other powerful nations.
“A county without an independent foreign policy remains unable to secure the interests of its people,” he said in his address at the Islamabad Security Dialogue.
The two-day event gathered intelligentsia from across the country besides representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russian and European Union.
PM Imran Khan said taking independent decisions while keeping high the interests of a nation was extremely important rather than submitting to the will of other countries in exchange for foreign aid.
He said a nation could not progress until it kept thinking that it could not survive without foreign aid and criticized the decisions of previous governments for joining the alien wars, namely the Afghan Jihad and the post 9/11 war on terror.
“These decisions, that incurred major damage to Pakistan, were made for the sake of dollars,” he said.
He pointed out that such detrimental policies resulted in sectarian militancy that disrupted the environment of investment, and promoted drug rackets and black money in the country.
He regretted that no independent evaluation was made afterward to assess the damage suffered by the Pakistani society, and said “the elite filled up their bank accounts at the cost of the nation”.
Independent foreign policy must as Pakistan suffered due to ‘dependency syndrome’: PM
Imran Khan said his government for four years pursued an independent foreign policy that helped the country gain respect in the global arena.
Referring to the U.S., he said a “powerful country” had expressed displeasure over his recent visit to Russia. “On the other hand, it is supporting its ally India which imports oil from Russia”.
“How come a country can interfere in the affairs of an independent State,” he said. “But not to blame them, as it is our fault because we gave them this impression”.
It is heartening to see the Islamabad Security Dialogue, which we inaugurated last year, maturing into the Government of Pakistan’s (@GovtofPakistan) flagship international security forum.— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) April 1, 2022
He said for its own interest, Pakistan’s elite threw the nation to the altar and put its self-respect at stake.
Imran Khan said national security was a multidimensional phenomenon and could be ensured when the State and nation got united with a single vision and ideology.
He said his government firmly believed that there was a symbiotic relationship between economic, human, and traditional security which was imperative for Pakistan’s long-term development.
He said domestic stability and regional peace based on mutual co-existence, regional connectivity, and shared prosperity were essential prerequisites to optimising national security.