As explosions rained down in Ukraine, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s inopportune trip to Russia has garnered concerns from Pakistani observers back home.
On Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation into Ukraine, just hours after the Prime Minister’s plane landed on the tarmac in Moscow.
“What a time I have come, so much excitement”, PM Imran Khan reportedly commented upon landing.
“Pakistani PM Imran Khan and his large delegation have touched down in Moscow. An interesting 24 hours lie ahead” wrote analyst Michael Kugelman.
“As expected Imran Khan is now in a fix. Just a few hours before meeting him President Putin has announced military invasion of independent sovereign state Ukraine. Europe on the verge of war. It was terrible timing for Russian visit,” opined Dunya Media Group Editor-in-chief Kamran Khan
Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) MPA Hina Parvez Butt said, “Pakistan has already been alienated from the rest of the world. Imran Khan’s visit to Russia at this crucial moment when world is condemning Putin’s aggression can mean diplomatic problems for [Pakistan].”
“The hype around PM Imran’s Moscow visit [would] have made sense if Putin wasn’t changing Ukraine’s borders, starting 3rd cold war with EU, US and UK. “We are not part of any bloc” and yet we sit and sup with Putin. And do we REALLY want to endorse actions to alter borders by force?” remarked journalist Syed Talat Hussain.
“The timing of PM Imran Khan’s visit to Russia is perfect, for all the wrong reasons,” summarised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding member Akbar Babar