Islamabad: The US has always used Pakistan to meet its strategic goals and when the purpose was served it abandoned and slapped sanctions on the country, while “friend” China stood the test of time, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said.

Khan made the remarks during a recent interview with Eric Li, Director of the Advisory Committee of China Institute of Fudan University, The News International newspaper reported on Friday.

Replying to a question, Khan said there are times when his country has friendly ties with the United States. However, when the US feels that it no longer needs Pakistan, it distances itself from it.

“Whenever the US needed us, they established relations, and Pakistan became a frontline state (against Soviet), and then abandoned it and slapped sanctions on us when its purposes were served, he said, citing an example of the Pak-US ties in 80’s when the erstwhile Soviet Union had deployed its troops in war-torn Afghanistan.

Later, the prime minister continued, friendly relations between the US and Pakistan were restored and Islamabad became a friend of Washington, according to the excerpt of the interview recorded during his recent visit to China from February 3-6 to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics.

The US helped us at that time, but as soon as the Soviet Union left Afghanistan, the United States imposed sanctions on Pakistan, Khan said.

When the 9/11 terror attacks happened, US-Pakistan relations got better again. However, when the US failed in Afghanistan, Pakistan was blamed for the defeat, Khan said.

The prime minister said the relationship between Pakistan and China has not been like that of Islamabad and its all-weather ally Beijing.

“China is a friend which has always stood by Pakistan,” Khan said, adding that during the last 70 years, the two countries supported each other on every forum, Khan said.

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