Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned western demands for the independent nation to join sanctions of Russia, with which it has close bilateral ties, suggesting that he is not the West’s “slave.”
Khan’s remarks come following the demands from the heads of 22 foreign heads of state who sent a joint letter to the Pakistani government in Islamabad, demanding that they join the U.N. General Assembly Resolution to collectively denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As detailed by the Times of India, both Pakistan and India joined with China to abstain from voting on the anti-Russia resolution. They were among 35 countries that refused to vote on the resolution deploring in the strongest terms Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which demanded that Russia “immediately, completely, and unconditionally,” withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory.
“As heads of mission to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we urge Pakistan to join us in condemning Russia's actions,” said the diplomats and heads of state of mostly European Union countries.
Khan lashed out at western countries demanding that he follow the consensus, which has sought to deplore Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin.
“What do you think of us? Are we your slaves … that whatever you say, we will do?” he asked, per Reuters.
“I want to ask the European Union ambassadors: Did you write such a letter to India?” Khan continued, noting that Pakistan’s neighbour and rival also abstained from the vote.
Khan expressed his fury at western governments, asserting that Pakistan had previously tried to help NATO in Afghanistan, but received vitriol instead of appreciation.
As detailed by Reuters, Khan visited Moscow for a two-day visit just days after the invasion began, where he called Pakistan “friends with Russia.”
“We are friends with Russia, and we are also friends with America; we are friends with China and with Europe; we are not in any camp,” Khan said at the time.
The Pakistani leader says he plans on remaining neutral in the conflict, and will work with any party that seeks to bring an end to the conflict, which began on February 24.