Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he would like the next American president to afford Islamabad "even-handed treatment" on par with arch-rival India, while weighing in on the outcome of the US presidential election on 3 November during an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel.
"What we really want from the US is even-handed treatment with respect to India, especially with the dispute in Kashmir. The region is a hotspot, it could flare up at any time. That's why we expect the US, as the strongest country in the world, to be even handed, whoever becomes president", the 68-year-old Khan told the magazine.
While Khan deftly parried a question about which candidate he backed as the next American president, the former cricket world cup winning captain-turned-politician did concede that the incumbent US president was "unpredictable", despite the Democratic Party challenger being the frontrunner in the polls.
Khan also opined that America's premise about India being a potential counterweight to China was "flawed".
In addition, the Pakistani PM blasted the current Indian government for being inspired by the "Nazis", claiming that there are similarities between the seminal texts of the German Nazis and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the latter are considered the ideological fountainhead of India's governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
On the Taliban Peace Deal
The Pakistani prime minister rejected claims of Islamabad playing a "double game" in Afghanistan, referring to accusations about the South Asian nation having an under-the-table deal with the Taliban.
Khan, however, expressed hope that the next Afghan leadership would not allow itself to play into the hands of India.
"We have no favourites in Afghanistan. Our only interest is that the future government in Kabul does not allow India to operate from there against Pakistan", he was quoted as saying.
On Relations With China
The Pakistani PM said that he was in favour of emulating the Chinese economic model in spite of the differences in the political systems of the two nations.
"It's a system based on meritocracy. I've seen how the Communist Party sort of sifts through all the talent and bring it to the top", Khan told the German magazine.
On Normalising Ties With Israel
Khan said that despite several countries in the Middle East recognising Israel in US-mediated peace deals starting in August, Islamabad would continue to stick to its traditional policy.
"Unless there's a just settlement, we cannot recognise Israel", underlined Khan, noting that Pakistan's founder and first Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Jinnah had been scathingly critical of human rights abuses in the region in the 1940s.