KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan labeled US President Donald Trump’s realignment policy towards Afghanistan and South Asia as ‘deeply flawed’ in an interview with Cable News Network (CNN), which aired early Friday morning.
Speaking to CNN’s London-based anchor Hala Gorani, Imran said that the new US policy is “more or less the same. What will the new troops [which have been deployed to Afghanistan] do that the NATO troops were not able to do?”
When asked what he will advise Trump regarding the policy, Imran remarked that the US' “stated policy of killing the enemy should be changed.”
A diplomatic way forwarded should be urged and Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries should be engaged in the process. A government should be formed after reaching consensus with all the stakeholders, he suggested.
Pertaining to Trump’s harsh comments towards Pakistan, stating that the country is supporting “agents of chaos”, Imran Khan said that “every Pakistani feels hurt and humiliated” by the words.
Pakistan suffered a great deal after joining US’s war on terror. “We ended up losing 70,000 people, lost billions of dollars and about 80pc of the tribal people, living in the areas where war was fought, were rendered homeless.”
“Pakistan has been the biggest collateral damage in this Afghan adventure,” he added.
Speaking about the Afghan war, Imran remarked that “it was ill-thought-out, there were no definite aims, they [US government] never tried a proper political solution in Afghanistan. There were bombings and killings.”
In the end, Pakistan was blamed, which has been the biggest sufferer of the war, he pointed out highlighting the incredulity of the situation. “Which other country has suffered more 70,000 casualties in this war?”
After all the suffering, “we suddenly hear this strange statement that Pakistan is responsible. Pakistan has been made a scapegoat for US not winning in Afghanistan,” he added.
He also pointed out that more than 100,000 American troops have been deployed in Afghanistan. Are we to believe that US lost in Afghanistan because of the 3,000 people operating for the Haqqani Network, which Pakistan is “supposedly protecting”.
“Is this even plausible,” he asked.
During the interview, Imran was asked to respond to Zalmay Khalilzad’s, former US ambassador to Afghanistan, statement that Pakistani government is turning a blind eye towards the terrorists.
Imran Khan said if Zalmay Khalilzad knows where these terrorists are then why does he not inform the Pakistani government and army.
Trump even implied that aid, assistance economic and military to your country could be at risk assistance could be stopped unless govt does more
Over the issue of Trump threatening to curtail US aid to Pakistan, Imran responded that the government should let him.
“I would recommend to the government that we can do without the aid. You are much better off staying out of the Afghanistan, this aid has been very costly to us,” he claimed.
When asked about upcoming elections in Pakistan, Imran remarked that he is quite “optimistic”. “I do feel this time it is our time now,” he added.
The entire interview can be seen below: