ISLAMABAD, July 24:
Taking a jibe at the loopholes in the system left by the previous governments, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that in the last 15 years the country did not tell the truth to the United States. Khan added that 40 different militant groups were operating in Pakistan when it joined the US war on terror.
“We were fighting the US war on terror. Pakistan has nothing to do with 9/11. Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan. There were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. But we joined the US war. Unfortunately, when things went wrong, where I blame my government, we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the ground,” the Pakistani PM said as quoted by news agency PTI.
Addressing a Capitol Hill reception hosted by the Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus, Sheila Jackson Lee, Khan said that the Pakistani governments were not in control.
“There were 40 different militant groups operating within Pakistan. So Pakistanwent through a period where people like us were worried about could we survive it. So while the US expected us to do more and help the US win the war, Pakistan at that time was fighting for its own existence,” Khan said.
Imran Khan met Donald Trump and held his first face-to-face talks with US President during a trip to White House in Washington DC on Monday (July 22). The meeting was termed “important” by the Pakistani prime minister.
Khan affirmed Trump saying that he would be honest in telling the US what Pakistan could do in the peace process. Speaking to the US President, Imran Khan said, “We have explained to them that the way forward is: number one, the relationship has to be based on mutual trust.”
The Pakistani PM has also cautioned the US stating that the process was not going to be easy. He said that he was trying his best to get the Taliban on the table to start this dialogue. “Do not expect this to be easy, because it is a very complicated situation in Afghanistan. But rest assured, we would be trying our best. The whole country is standing behind me. The Pakistan Army, the security forces, all are behind me. We all have one objective and it is exactly the same objective as the US, which is to have a peaceful solution as quickly as possible in Afghanistan,” Khan said.
Earlier on Tuesday, while meeting the Pakistani prime minister, Donald Trump said that he would act as a mediator between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. Trump said that PM Modi had broached the subject with him during their meeting in Osaka, Japan, last month. The US President further told the Pakistani PM that he would love to help if Pakistan wants him to.
However, India has strongly rejected Donald Trump’s controversial claim stating that Kashmir dispute in an internal issue and will be resolved bilaterally with Pakistan.