ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made on Thursday a triumphant return from an official trip to the United States and compared the visit with his 1992 Cricket World Cup victory when he captained the country’s team.
“I feel like I am not coming here from a foreign trip, but that I am returning after winning the (cricket) World Cup,” Khan told reporters at the airport, where he was greeted by dozens of supporters and ministers from his cabinet.
“I have not bowed down to anyone and I will not let my people bow down before anyone either. The day is not far when the world will respect (Pakistan’s) green passport and Pakistan will emerge as a great country of the world,” he said.
Khan met US President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday for a meeting where the latter praised Pakistan’s help to negotiate a peace agreement in Afghanistan.
The prime minister defended Pakistan’s role in negotiations between the US and the Taliban to end an 18-year old war in Afghanistan.
The meeting between Trump and Khan was aimed at reducing tensions between the two sides after the US cut aid to its South Asian ally in 2018, accusing it of not cooperating in the fight against terrorism and giving shelter to terrorist groups operating in neighboring Afghanistan.
On Thursday, the Pakistani government insisted that relations between the two countries had returned to normal.
“Relations between Pakistan and the US have been reestablished. It was a very successful visit,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a press conference in Islamabad.
Last year, Trump accused the Pakistan government of not having done enough for the US despite receiving $1.3 billion from its coffers every year.
As a result, Washington announced the suspension of a large part of its security aid to Pakistan until Islamabad took decisive action against terrorist groups such as the Taliban, which it claimed was destabilizing the region and threatening American personnel.