Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan offers praise for Chinese focus on first world facilities.
A key partner in Beijing’s Belt & Road Initiative has applauded China for building world class infrastructure while accusing the United States of squandering billions on the war in Afghanistan.
In New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made the assessment during an interview with US broadcaster.
“While the USA was pouring money in Afghanistan in this futile war, the Chinese were developing first-world infrastructure and you just have to go to China to see where the infrastructure is,” Khan said when asked what advice he would give US President Donald Trump about the conflict in Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, Trump cancelled planned secret talks with the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
“You knew this was going to be a war that would not achieve any results,” he said. “If I was an American I would ask, US$1.5 trillion at least has been spent on Afghanistan, what have we achieved in this? That money was wasted.”
Pakistan is home to the flagship project under the Belt & Road banner, the US$62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The corridor consists of a number of ports, airports, and power plants, as well as road, railways and pipelines to connect China’s far western region of Xinjiang to Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, right outside the exit of the Persian Gulf and the world’s most important oil route.
The former Cricket Superstar is not as enthusiastic about the initiative as his predecessor Nawaz Sharif or Beijing, and has slightly backed away and scaled down some of the projects since he took office last year.
But work on the economic corridor has continued despite debt concerns, local resistance and some security incidents.
Khan visited China a few months after being sworn in and reaffirmed the “all-weather” friendship in Beijing. The ties were underlined again as tension escalated with India this year over disputes in Kashmir.