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Pakistan PM Imran Khan again praises Taliban, says India is rich hence controlling world cricket: Details

“Money is a big player now. For the players, as well as for the cricket boards. The money lies in India, so basically, India controls world cricket now,” ranted Khan.

In yet another topsy turvy, contradictory and embarrassing interview, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was seen praising the Taliban and making excuses for them.

Khan in an almost hour-long interview to Middle East Eye’s (a London-based online news outlet) David Hearst and Peter Oborne admitted to ‘India bombing Pakistan,’ urged the West to establish a dialogue with the Taliban, called India the new ‘Israel’ and dodged questions pertaining to Uyghur Muslims. 

‘Taliban the best bet to take on ISIS’

In a wide-ranging interview, Khan urged the West to establish a dialogue with the Taliban calling them the best bet to take on ISIS.  “Taliban are the best bet to take on Daesh,” PM Imran Khan asserted.

He specifically requested the United States to initiate a dialogue with the new (designated global terrorist-led) Afghanistan government saying if the US does not take the lead, Pakistan will be the most affected by it. 

He further said that the US has no other option but to do everything it can to support and stabilize the new setup in Afghanistan, as the Taliban was the ‘only option’ for fighting ISIS in the region. He did not explain why then, Pakistan pretended for 20 years to fight against the Taliban while giving shelter and support to Taliban radicals.

Khan also expressed uncertainty about Afghanistan and said, “Events in the neighbouring country are still evolving and people like us still don’t know where it will go.” 

Khan hails Taliban, says they should not be ‘pushed’ about human rights

The Pakistani Prime Minister further spent a couple of minutes emphasizing the need for recognizing the Taliban government in Afghanistan. 

They need an inclusive government because Afghanistan is a diverse society,” Khan said claiming that he is working with the neighbouring countries, notably Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which have sizeable ethnic minorities inside Afghanistan, to encourage the Taliban to widen representation.

When asked about the Taliban curbing basic human and women rights, Khan preached that one should not ‘push’ the Islamic organization and rather engage in talks. 

“The best way is to incentivize them to walk the talk (on rights)… But if you force them, I would imagine the nature of the people is such that they will push back and it would be counterproductive,” he said. 

‘Haven’t spoken to President Biden’

David Hearst and Peter Oborne expressed utter shock when Khan embarrassingly admitted to not have spoken to US President Joe Biden as yet.

“What did President Biden say when you put these points to him, as I imagine you would have done?” asked Peter Oborne.

“No, I haven’t spoken to President Biden as yet,” replied Khan. When Oborne reiterated his question in bewilderment, Khan said, “Well, it’s you know, it’s up to him, it’s a superpower. I mean our security chiefs have spoken.” 

“You are immediate neighbor to Afghanistan and whether the US likes it or not you have an immense influence on the country. President Biden has not spoken to you. I find that absolutely astonishing,” remarked Oborne. 

‘India bombed us’

Harping over India’s Balakot strike yet again, the Pakistan PM admitted that India had indeed ‘bombed’ them. 

“We kept telling them to give us evidence (of Pakistan’s involvement in the attack) and we will punish or hand them over to India, but they produced no evidence and bombed us instead,” said Khan.

‘Selective pronouncements are immoral’

Successfully safeguarding the reputation of its all-weather ally China, Khan said ‘selective pronouncements’ on human rights were ‘immoral’ when asked about Beijing’s human rights violations on Uyghur Muslim population in the restive province of Xinjiang. 

The Pakistani PM further described the 70-year-old relation between Pakistan and China as the one that “stood the test of time”. When probed further on the genocide of the minority Muslim population by its friend, he said, “Our relationship with China is such that we have an understanding between us. We will talk to each other, but behind closed doors, because that is their nature and culture.”

‘India learning from Israel’

The Pakistan Prime Minister further lamented that India is drawing inspiration from Israel in terms of territorial occupation. 

“(Israel has) built such a strong security apparatus and [they] just crush anything. They send people who kill and assassinate and they have total immunity because they have confidence over US’ veto power in the UNSC,” said Khan, insinuating that India does the same with Pakistan.

“..I feel that India feels [it has immunity] because they are being used… as a bulwark against China,” claimed Khan.

‘India controls world cricket’

A few days after Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Ramiz Raja said ‘India can topple PCB,’ Khan also claimed that world cricket is under India’s control.

“Money is a big player now. For the players, as well as for the cricket boards. The money lies in India, so basically, India controls world cricket now,” ranted Khan. 

“No one would dare do that to India because they know that the sums involved, India can sort of produce much more money,” he said while criticizing the England and New Zealand cricket teams for pulling out of a tour in Pakistan citing ‘security concerns.’

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