Monitoring Desk: The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has said that Pakistan joined Washington’s War on Terror and now the US blames Pakistan for its own failures in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan suffered great losses when it joined Washington’s War on Terror, and in the end, the US still pinned the blame on Pakistan for its own setbacks in Afghanistan,” said Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in an exclusive interview to Russia Today (RT) Arabic.
He was of the view that Pakistan took a serious hit after joining the US-led global campaign against terrorism because before Islamabad had been training the Islamist Mujahedeen fighters, who were “funded by the American CIA” to wage war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. But as it was the US’ turn to invade Afghanistan and Pakistan helped the US, these groups (Islamist Mujahedeen) turned against Pakistan calling Pakistan a US collaborator. He said he was against this support of Pakistan to US invasion but a military dictator took the decision to put Pakistan at war in Afghanistan.
“We have trained them to fight against foreign occupation was holy war —a Jihad but when the same people turned against US invasion in Afghanistan, we were telling them that jihad against the US was terrorism so they turned against us (Pakistan). They called us collaborators so they started terrorist acts against Pakistan. Then Pashtun ethnicity came in at the Pakistani side of borer and they too thought we were collaborators so they formed Pakistani Taliban and they started attacking Pakistan and there were inside attacks within the Pakistan army who trained Mujahedeen. There were two failed suicide attacks against Gen Musharraf from within the army. There were fifteen militant groups attacking the state of Pakistan,” maintained PM Khan.
He was of the view that Pakistan gave the greatest sacrifices in the Afghanistan war. No Pakistani was involved in 9/11 and Pakistan had nothing to do with that incident but Pakistan was a victim of this incident.
To a question, he said if it is considered that Pakistan helped the Taliban against the United States then it would mean that Pakistan is stronger than the US and all the European countries and Pakistan along with a 60,000 to 70,000 men militia carrying light weapons succeeded in defeating an army of 300,000 troops.
“Unfortunately, a Military dictator put Pakistan in US war and this war cost Pakistan 80,000 people. We lost over $100 billion [from] the economy. And in the end, we were blamed for the Americans not succeeding in Afghanistan. I felt it was very unfair to Pakistan. He was of the opinion that the US has to play a big part in Afghanistan to save humanitarian crises because the US was in Afghanistan for 20 years. Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan to strengthen national unity and create long term stability in the war-torn country.
“We think that in the interest of Afghanistan and for long term stability an inclusive government should be formed to strengthen unity there.,” he said.
He stated that Pakistan was (is) working with the neighbours of Afghanistan to determine what the Afghan government should do so the international community could recognise it and the imperative step would be the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan is a diverse country but the Taliban are a Pashtun movement and Pashtuns are half of the population. However, there are also Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras who are in a large number.”
He said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Dushanbe was important because it was attended by almost all the neighbours of Afghanistan and the issue of Afghanistan is important for the whole region.
“Afghanistan is at historic crossroads and either it will move towards stability after wars for four decades or it will go in a wrong direction and chaos and huge humanitarian and refugee crises will be created and it will affect all the neighbours of Afghanistan,” he continued.
PM Khan was of the view that a propaganda campaign was launched by India that Pakistan was responsible for the collapse of the former Afghan government. He wondered how it happened that the 300,000-strong Afghan? He said a comprehensive analysis should be done to know the reasons as to why the army of the bravest nation of the world laid down its weapons without a fight.