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Imran Khan, Fierce Critic of Trump and US-Led Wars, Declares Victory in Pakistani Elections

"As far as America is concerned, we want to work on a policy that is mutually beneficial. Not a one-way relationship. There needs to be balance."

Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), gives a speech as he declares victory in the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Photo: PTI Handout/Reuters)

This is a breaking news story and may be updated.

After running on vows to address Pakistan's widespread poverty, confront rampant corruption, and pursue a more "balanced" foreign policy with the nation's neighbors and the United States, the famous cricket-star-turned politician Imran Khan declared victory on Thursday as his Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won a projected 120 of the 270 open seats in Pakistan's parliamentary elections.

"I say this in front of you today... we will run Pakistan in a way in which it has never been run before, deliver the kind of governance never delivered before," Khan declared in his victory speech.

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As the Guardian notes, Khan is far from the "preferred prime minister for Pakistan's two traditional chief patrons, China and the U.S."

In an interview ahead of Pakistan's elections, Khan said the "way the United States has treated Pakistan as a doormat is not fair." Khan has long been a fierce critic of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and its deadly drone campaigns throughout the Middle East, once promising to "shoot down U.S. drones" if he is elected prime minister.

As Common Dreams reported, Khan has also been an outspoken critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, who recently accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit" and cut off security aid.

In response, Khan ripped Trump for attempting to "humiliate and insult" his country and pressured Pakistani leadership to never again be used by the United States as a "gun for hire."

"We became a U.S. proxy for a war against the Soviet Union when it entered Afghanistan and we allowed the CIA to create, train, and arm Jihadi groups on our soil and a decade later we tried to eliminate them as terrorists on U.S. orders," Khan wrote in a letter in January. "The time has come to stand firm and give a strong response to the U.S."

Asked in a recent interview if he would meet with Trump if elected, Khan said he would—but added that it would be a "bitter pill" to swallow.

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