Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said Pakistan had not been credited by western countries for the sacrifices made during the decades-long global war on terror.
The premier’s remarks came during his address to the opening session of Margalla Dialogue 2021.
Prime Minister Imran said that the country faced immense collateral damage and was the only country in the US-led alliance which suffered more than 80,000 casualties, displacement of millions and more than $100 billion in economic losses.
“Pakistan was held responsible for the failure of the United States,” said the premier.
“The inability of the national leadership to handle the Afghan situation wisely landed the country into two main pro and anti-America divisions,” he said.
He also regretted that Pakistan was not able to effectively present its point of view before the world.
Referring to national security, the prime minister said the focus was on military power but “it [national security] is actually an all-encompassing thing. You can’t have national security until there is inclusive growth”.
He said sans inclusive growth, inequality becomes the basis of discord in society. “It is a very important issue of national security that how can we have equitable [and] inclusive development.”
“Unequal distribution of resources leads to anarchy among the people who are left out of the mainstream development,” he said.
“The uplift of the underprivileged segment of the society was critical to ensure across the board national security,” he added.
The premier stressed that rule of law and equality for all were the preconditions for democracy.
He also pointed out that differences in educational standards in the country resulted in three different kinds of generations with discrimination in regards to hiring practices.
“Corruption, particularly of the elite, was detrimental to the development of a country,” he said and emphasised the importance of research by the think tanks of the country to counter the negative propaganda in the world.
“Research leads to original thinking within a society. You have to define yourself instead of letting others define you,” he said. “Lack of in-depth research led to reliance on second-hand information by the western think tanks on important issues such as Afghanistan.”
On Islamophobia, the PM said, a strong response by Muslim think tanks was important to nullify the impression of Islam’s linkage with terrorism.
“The racist government in India is pursuing fascist policies against minorities including in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Imran said referring to New Delhi, adding that western countries do not criticise the illegal occupation.