Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has again praised India for reducing fuel prices with the help of “discount oil” from Russia, saying his government was working to achieve this with the help of an “independent foreign policy”. The Indian government on Saturday reduced excise duty on petrol by Rs 8 per liter and on diesel by Rs 6 per liter to provide relief to consumers affected by high fuel prices, which pushed inflation to record highs.
It has decided to provide a subsidy of Rs 200 per cylinder to the beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana for 12 cylinders in a year.
Khan tagged in his tweet a report from the South Asia Index which said that “after buying discounted oil from Russia, the Indian government has reduced the price of petrol by Rs 9.5 per liter and diesel by Rs 7 per liter.” Taken on Twitter, the 69-year-old cricketer-politician said: “Despite being part of the 14th, India kept up the pressure from the US and bought discounted Russian oil to appease the public.
“Our government is working to achieve this with an independent foreign policy.”
India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer and importer, has in recent weeks snatched some cargo from Russia at deep discounts as part of plans to diversify its import baskets.
In another tweet, Khan said: “Pakistan’s interests were paramount but unfortunately local Mir Zafar and Mir Sadiq bowed to external pressure, forced a regime change and are now roaming the economy like a headless chicken”.
Khan often referred to his political opponents as Mir Zafar and Mir Sadiq, who betrayed their masters and aided the British rulers.
This is not the first time that Prime Minister Khan has surprised opposition parties by praising India.
Last month, then-Prime Minister Khan, in a speech to the nation before the no-confidence motion that eventually ousted him, called India “a nation of great honor.”
Earlier in the day, he praised India for its independent foreign policy, saying it maintained its independent foreign policy which was centered on its people.
Last month, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz taunted Khan for praising India, saying he should visit the neighboring country if he liked it.
Khan was ousted from power by a no-confidence motion on April 10, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be unexpectedly ousted by parliament.
The newly formed government under Shahbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is under pressure due to the economic situation as the US dollar is at a historic high against the Pakistani rupee.
The country, which is suffering from a cash crunch due to declining foreign exchange reserves and increasing debt repayment and import financing requirements, is in dire need of foreign aid.