Feels like I have won World Cup, says Imran Khan on arrival after first US visit

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Sajjad Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan today said the rousing welcome accorded to him by his supporters after his first official visit to the US made him feel as if he has won the cricket World Cup for the country.

Prime Minister Khan embarked on his three-day visit to the US this week to reset strained bilateral ties with Washington. He held wide-ranging talks with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday and also met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The 66-year-old cricketer-turned politician arrived on a Qatar Airlines plane at the New International Islamabad Airport early morning and was greeted by his supporters raising slogans in his favour.

“I felt as if I came home after winning the World Cup and not from an official visit,” Khan, the former captain of the Pakistani cricket team, which won the cricket World Cup in 1992, said as he briefly addressed the crowd. His return coincided with his election victory on July 25 last year.

“We have to transform all institutions which had been destroyed by thieves who only want to loot Pakistan,” he said. On his way back to Islamabad, Khan had a brief stopover in Doha where he his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Foreign Office said.

Khan said he has asked the US and other western countries to help Pakistan get back the plundered wealth kept abroad by the “thieves and robbers”. The Prime Minister vowed that he will never disappoint the nation by bowing before anyone.

He said the days were not far when the world will respect the green passport of the country and Pakistan will emerge as a great country in the world. The Prime Minister’s US visit has been termed “diplomatic coup” for Khan and Pakistan by the Pakistani media after the two countries seems to have normalised bilateral ties and President Donald Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. Pakistan’s Opposition parties have criticised Khan for criticising them on foreign soil and they are staging countrywide demonstrations against alleged fraud in the 2018 general elections.

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