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Pak Shouldn’t Have Joined US War on Terror After 9/11: Imran Khan

He said it was unfair that Pakistan was blamed for the US’s failures in Afghanistan.

Published
World
2 min read
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
i

Had Pakistan not joined the US war on terrorism after the 11 September attacks, it would not have been “the world’s (most) dangerous country”, said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, talking to RT, a state-sponsored Russian television channel.

He talked about the role of Pakistan and the United States in creating the Mujahideen (a term loosely used to describe militant islamist outfits) groups, and how it was unfair that Pakistan was blamed for the US’s failures in Afghanistan.

The US-Taliban talks, which were expected to usher in a peace agreement, have failed and hostilities have resumed.

Notably, days before his comments, former US Secretary of Defense James Mattis had called Pakistan “the most dangerous country” he dealt with during his career.

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WHAT DID IMRAN KHAN SAY?

Khan said he was against Pakistan participating in the war, since the terrorists they were fighting were the ones they themselves had created decades ago, with American assistance.

“In 80s we were training these Mujahideen people to do jihad against Soviets, when they occupied Afghanistan. These people were trained by Pakistan and funded by the American CIA.”
Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan

He said that it is a “big contradiction” that the same jihadist groups, based in Pakistan, are now supposed to say “it is no longer jihad, it’s terrorism”.

“I strongly felt that Pakistan should have been neutral, because by joining in, these groups turned against us,” he said.

“We lost 70,000 people. We lost over a 100 billion dollars to the economy. In the end, we were blamed for the Americans not succeeding in Afghanistan. I felt that it was very unfair on Pakistan.”
Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan

WHAT IS US & PAKISTAN’S HISTORY IN AFGHANISTAN?

In 1979, the Soviet backed People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan staged a coup and gained control of the nation. The new government imposed reforms which faced resistance by a major portion of the population and gave rise to anti-government insurgency.

This, and infighting among the PDPA, prompted the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan in December the same year.

The US, which was in a cold war with the USSR, was threatened by its movement into Afghanistan and, under the Reagan administration, provided funds and weapons to the Islamist guerrilla groups resisting the Soviets.

Pakistan, a US ally, aided these efforts through its intelligence agency ISI, and began training, arming and providing the jihadist groups refuge within its borders.

The Taliban, which is the most prominent insurgent force in Afghanistan today, was aided by Pakistan as a student movement in its early days. There are allegations that the US provided support the Taliban as well.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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