NEW YORK (AP) â€” Prime Minister Imran Khan sought to cast Pakistan as the victim of American ungratefulness and an international double standard in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.
In a prerecorded speech aired during the evening, the Pakistani prime minister touched on a range of topics that included climate change, global Islamophobia and â€œthe plunder of the developing world by their corrupt elitesâ€ â€” the latter of which he likened to what the East India Company did to India.
It was for Indiaâ€™s government that Khan reserved his harshest words, once again labeling Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modiâ€™s Hindu nationalist government â€œfascist.â€ But the cricketer turned posh international celebrity turned politician was in turn indignant and plaintive as he painted the United States as an abandoner of both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
â€œFor the current situation in Afghanistan, for some reason, Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe,â€ Khan said.
He launched into a narrative that began with the United States and Pakistan training mujahedeen â€” regarded as heroes by the likes of then-President Ronald Reagan, he said â€” during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Instead of a mere â€œword of appreciation,â€ Pakistan has received blame, Khan said.
Despite Khanâ€™s rhetoric espousing a desire for peace, many Afghans have blamed Pakistan for the Talibanâ€™s resurgence in Afghanistan because of close links.
In his speech, Khan echoed what his foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, told The Associated Press earlier this week on the sidelines at the U.N.: the international community should not isolate the Taliban, but instead strengthen the current Afghan government for the sake of the people.