Staff Reporter Islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a wide-ranging talk with foreign journalists at his residence on Wednesday night, said he was not really “waiting” for a phone call from US President Joe Biden.
“I keep hearing that President Biden hasn’t called me. It’s his business. It’s not like I am waiting for any phone call,” he said in response to a question from a Reuters journalist.
The prime minister’s comments come days after National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf stated that Pakistan has other options if Biden continues to ignore the country’s leadership.
“The president of the United States hasn’t spoken to the prime minister of such an important country who the US itself says is make-or-break in some cases, in some ways, in Afghanistan — we struggle to understand the signal, right?” Yusuf had told The Financial Times in an interview.
During the interaction with the foreign media, the prime minister talked about the current situation in Afghanistan, its impact on Pakistan, and the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country.
“The hasty way in which the Americans left, if they wanted a political settlement then common sense dictates that [you negotiate] from a position of strength,” he said, adding that the US was now blaming Pakistan when they no longer had any leverage.
“I think the Americans have decided that India is a strategic partner. Maybe that’s why Pakistan is being treated differently. Pakistan is just considered to be useful only in the context of settling this mess.”
The premier added that Pakistan’s closeness to China was another reason for the change in the US’ attitude.