ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan must not be blamed for the outcome of war in Afghanistan and for the losses of the United States.
In his article published in Washington Post today, he said Today, with Afghanistan at another crossroads, we must look to the future to prevent another violent conflict in that country rather than perpetuating the blame game of the past.
He expressed surprise over the recent Congressional hearings on Afghanistan, where no mention was made of Pakistan’s sacrifices as a U.S. ally in the war on terror for over two decades. Instead, we were blamed for America’s loss.
Imran Khan recalled that since 2001, he repeatedly warned that the Afghan war was unwinnable and pointed that given their history, Afghans would never accept a protracted foreign military presence. Even an outsider including Pakistan could not change this reality.
The prime minister pointed out that after the defeat of the Soviets, the U.S. abandoned Afghanistan and sanctioned Pakistan, leaving behind over five million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and a bloody civil war in Afghanistan.
This was made much worse by over 450 U.S. drone strikes on our territory, making us the only country in history to be so bombed by an ally. These strikes caused immense civilian casualties, riling up anti-American sentiment further.
He said the militant groups declared war against the Pakistani state after its support to the US war on terror.
He mentioned that Pakistan suffered over 80,000 casualties and lost over 150 billion US dollar in the economy, besides driving 3.5 million citizens from their homes.
He said the militants escaping from Pakistani counter-terrorism efforts entered Afghanistan and were then supported and financed by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies. Yet the U.S. continued to ask us to do more for the war in Afghanistan.
Imran Khan said Pakistan defeated the terrorist onslaught completely by 2016, the Afghan situation continued to deteriorate.