Pakistan to partner only with peace, Imran tells WEF.


DAVOS -- Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that 'Pakistan was considered one of the most dangerous places in the world when his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party assumed office in 2018 but his government had decided to partner with peace'.

Speaking at the Pakistan Strategy Dialogue during the on-going session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland, the prime minister said 'the first conflict, after the Soviets left Afghanistan [in 1989], cost us heavily,' adding: 'It left us with brittle roots and a culture of Kalashnikovs and drugs that were used to pay for the war [and] sectarian groups that did a lot of damage to [Pakistani] society.'

'Then there was the war on terror [after the US invaded Afghanistan] which left 70,000 people dead Pakistan was considered one of the most dangerous places in the world,' he said.

'Therefore, when my government came into power we made a conscious decision to only partner with people in peace. We decided to not become part of any conflict.'

'As a result,' the premier said, 'the first benefit Pakistan saw was in the field of tourism.'

'We are one of the most tourism-friendly countries and all this potential was untapped, especially the mountain areas,' he said.

The first impact was that tourism recovered in a year, he said. 'We believe Pakistan can collect a lot of revenue from tourism.'

Earlier on Tuesday (early Wednesday morning in Pakistan), Prime Minister Imran held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Singapore and Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the summit.

According to an official statement issued by the Foreign Office, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Imran discussed a whole spectrum of bilateral relations that are 'marked by mutual trust and support'.

The prime minister appreciated Azerbaijan's valuable contributions, the statement read, including those as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. The premier reiterated Pakistan's support to Azerbaijan on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, the statement added.

Imran also briefed the president on the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir as well as the impact of the...

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