Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan has said his government will build a more “balanced and trustworthy” relationship with the US, asserting that the trust deficit between the two countries has resulted in many ups and downs in the bilateral ties.
The relations between Pakistan and the US nosedived this January after President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of giving nothing to Washington but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists.
The US Congress also passed a bill to slash Pakistan’s defence aid to $150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than $1 billion per year.
Speaking to Acting US Ambassador to Pakistan John F Hoover who called on him at his Banigala residence on Wednesday, the cricketer-turned-politician said there was a need for revitalisation of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and the US and transforming the relationship for the benefit of both the countries.
“Our government will engage with the US to make this relationship more balanced and trustworthy. We count trade and economic relations with the US extremely important,” Khan was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
Pakistan and the US have witnessed many ups and downs in their relationship, which were the outcome of trust deficit between the two countries, he said.
“I am glad that people in the US have ultimately started acknowledging the significance of political solution as conflict and use of force can add to the damages instead of breeding a sustainable solution to the crisis,” Khan said.
He said the stability in Afghanistan was in the larger interest of Pakistan, America and the region which could be achieved through viable political engagements.
In his victory speech last month, Khan had said that Pakistan wanted to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the US.
Khan has been a vocal critic of US drone attacks inside Pakistan against terrorists.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in the July 25 general elections, winning 116 National Assembly seats out of the contested 270 parliamentary constituencies.