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Unfair to blame Pakistan for US setbacks in Afghanistan: Imran


Sept. 12, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that it is unfair to blame Pakistan for the setbacks suffered by US in Afghanistan.
In an exclusive interview to Russia Today , the premier dwelled on the damage the country suffered when it decided to side with the US post 9/11.
“Had we not participated in the American war after 9/11, we would not have been the world’s most dangerous country,” said the premier.
Reiterating his stance against the US invasion of Afghanistan, the prime minister reminisced that the Afghan Mujahideen had been trained to fight by Pakistan with funding coming by America’s Central Investigation Agency (CIA) in the 1980s when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
“A decade later when the Americans come into Afghanistan, the same groups in Pakistan are supposed to say that now because the Americans are there, it is not longer Jihad – it is terrorism,” he said while underscoring the contradiction in rhetoric.
“I strongly felt that Pakistan should have been neutral,” he continued. “Because by joining in [Afghan war], these groups turned against us.”
The prime minister added that the country lost 70,000 lives and suffered a loss of over $100 billion to the economy. “And in the end, we were blamed for the Americans not succeeding in Afghanistan,” he noted. “I felt it was very unfair to Pakistan.”
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump announced to pull out of the Pakistan-brokered talks with the Afghan Taliban jeopardizing the prospects of peace in Afghanistan.
The sudden move throws a new challenge for Islamabad at a time when its hands are already full dealing with other foreign policy issues.
In its official reaction to the sudden US move, the Foreign Office called on all sides for restraint and reminded them of the commitment to pursue peace.
“Pakistan has been facilitating the peace and reconciliation process in good faith and as a shared responsibility, and has encouraged all sides to remain engaged with sincerity and patience.”
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