Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday lashed out at the United States as he said anyone who knew the history of Afghanistan would never have done what they did.
In an interview with Director of the Advisory Committee of China’s Institute of Fudan University Dr Eric Li, the prime minister stressed he was of the opinion from day one that the United States would not succeed militarily in Afghanistan.
“They were never clear on what they were trying to achieve in Afghanistan. Was it nation-building; was it democracy; was it liberating the Afghan women? They had no clear aims,” the premier said.
PM Imran said the US mission in Afghanistan should have been over once they killed former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. “So, what they were doing after that, none of the Americans knew.”
The prime minister noted when the aim of a mission is unclear, it ultimately leads to “failure”, as in the case of the US invasion of Afghanistan for the “war on terror”.
PM Imran has been vocal in support of Afghanistan as he seeks to unfreeze the Taliban-run country’s assets which were frozen after the ousting of the Ashraf Ghani-led government.
The premier has also repeatedly criticised the United States for its handling of the Afghan situation. “I think the US has really messed it up in Afghanistan,” he said during an interview last year, a few days before the fall of Kabul.
He said the entire US mission was based on a “false premise”. But now, he said, the Americans are unable to differentiate between the general population and the Taliban, thus forcing the country towards a potential humanitarian crisis.
“If there is chaos in Afghanistan and the Taliban government gets weaker, it cannot take on international terrorist organisations,” he said.
Talking about China-US relations, the prime minister said the world does not want another Cold War. Pakistan may replicate the role it played in 1970 when it brought China and the US together.
Prime Minister Imran stressed that Pakistan never wanted to be a part of any conflict – it was caught up in rival blocks, as it did in the past.
He said joining the “war on terror” and the corruption of the past rulers badly affected Pakistan. The country lost about 80,000 people and over $100 billion in the war.
When asked about the Western concerns on the situation in the Chinese province Xinjiang, the prime minister said Pakistan’s ambassador in China visited the area and the report he gave back was different from the one that is coming from the western media.
He said what is being told by the western media “does not exist against Uighurs”.
He said according to the envoy’s report, unprecedented development is taking place in Xinjiang.
CPEC: Prime Minister Imran also invited other countries to join and invest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, emphasising the government’s foremost priority is geo-economics and to uplift the economy.
He lamented the Western countries raising suspicion on the corridor project and said it made “no sense”.
The prime minister said Pakistan sees CPEC and Gwadar project as a great opportunity for its geo-economics. “My priority is the 220 million of Pakistan,” he stressed.
PM Imran said both Pakistan and China have always stood by each other in difficult times and this all-weather relationship has transformed into a people-to-people friendship.
KASHMIR: Responding to a question about Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister lamented that India is denying the right of self-determination to Kashmiri people guaranteed by the UN Security Council resolutions.
The premier criticised the BJP-led Indian government for marginalisation of minorities, including Muslims, and termed it a tragedy for the Indian nation.
He said better sense should prevail in India otherwise, it is only going to damage itself.