West overly obsessed about containing China: PM Kakar

"It's not a Cold War. There is no Iron Curtain here," caretaker PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar says

Thursday, September 28, 2023
Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar addresses the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, US, September 22, 2023. — Reuters

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that Pakistan was focusing on its own interests without choosing sides in the great power competition, and the West was "over-obsessed" with efforts to contain China.

The prime minister, in an interview with the Washington Post during his visit to New York to attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly session published on Wednesday, said Pakistan intended to stay "neutral" on Russia's war with Ukraine and saw China as its "all-weather friend" and "strategic partner".

"It's not a Cold War. There is no Iron Curtain here. It’s not that opaque. Everybody sees what is happening,” the prime minister said.

He said the West was "over-obsessed" with efforts to contain China.

He told the interviewer that Pakistan was charting a path, designed to avoid getting caught up in the competition between the West and Russia and China.

Kakar said Pakistan had no intention of committing to either camp in the growing US-China rivalry.

By siding with the West against the Soviets and again after 9/11, Pakistan paid a high price, Kakar said.

"Pakistan in the last 30 years, has been treated unfairly by the West," he told the interviewer.

"Every nation for itself. Why should we be worried about this competition. It's between two great powers, two great civilizations, and the implications [affect] 150-plus countries. And Pakistan is just one of them," PM Kakar remarked.

Mentioning Pakistan's "neutral" stance on Ukraine, the prime minister said: "This crisis is creating challenges and at the same time it is creating opportunities also within the region, and we are looking at it both ways."

Prime Minister Kakar flatly denied the allegations in a media report of Pakistan moving any munitions to Ukraine saying, "We have not gone for any sale which was directly intended for the Ukraine, not any sort of transactions, even through a third party."

Regarding the arrest of workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the prime minister denied the alleged abuses and compared Pakistan's actions to the arrests in the United States of those who attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

"Arrests are being made for unlawful actions, somebody who involved in arson or vandalism," he said.

"This is not the kind of behaviour which is promoted or vindicated by any liberal democracy. So why is it being even expected of Pakistan that we should condone such behaviors?"