Pakistan to not blame for ‘unwinnable’ Afghanistan conflict, says PM Imran Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan gestures throughout an interview. Picture: File
  • “Since 2001, I’ve repeatedly warned that the Afghan conflict was unwinnable,” writes PM Imran Khan.
  • “Proper factor” proper now for the world to do could be to interact with the brand new Afghanistan authorities, says PM Imran Khan. 
  • “Pakistan is to not blame for the truth that 300,000-plus well-trained and well-equipped Afghan safety forces noticed no cause to struggle the frivolously armed Taliban,” says PM Imran Khan. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday penned an opinion piece for The Washington Submit wherein he criticised the Afghan and Western governments for making Pakistan “a handy scapegoat” for the end result of the conflict in Afghanistan. 

The premier began his opinion piece by saying that he was shocked to see a current US congressional listening to that as a substitute of recognising Pakistan’s sacrifices within the Conflict on Terror, blamed it for “America’s loss”. 

‘Afghan conflict was unwinnable’

“Let me put it plainly. Since 2001, I’ve repeatedly warned that the Afghan conflict was unwinnable. Given their historical past, Afghans would by no means settle for a protracted overseas army presence, and no outsider, together with Pakistan, may change this actuality,” he wrote. 

PM Imran Khan lashed out at successive Pakistani governments, saying that that they had sought to please the US as a substitute of stating the issues of a military-driven strategy in Afghanistan. 

“Pakistan’s army dictator Pervez Musharraf agreed to each American demand for army assist after 9/11. This value Pakistan, and the USA, dearly,” he careworn. 

He cited the US assist for the Afghan Taliban again within the ’80s, noting how then-president Ronald Reagan entertained them on the White Home in the course of the days when the CIA and the ISI skilled them to struggle in opposition to the Soviets. 

“As soon as the Soviets had been defeated, the USA deserted Afghanistan and sanctioned my nation, abandoning over 4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and a bloody civil conflict in Afghanistan. From this safety vacuum emerged the Taliban, many born and educated in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan,” he wrote. 

“Quick ahead to 9/11, when the USA wanted us once more — however this time in opposition to the very actors we had collectively supported to struggle overseas occupation,” stated PM Imran Khan. 

PM Imran Khan lamented how Common (retd) Musharraf, who was then ruling over Pakistan, had turned a blind eye to US drone assaults and had given the CIA a footprint in Pakistan. 

He regretted how Pakistan Military troops had been despatched into the  semiautonomous tribal areas on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, “which had earlier been used because the staging floor for the anti-Soviet jihad. The fiercely unbiased Pashtun tribes in these areas had deep ethnic ties with the Taliban,” he wrote. 

The prime minister spoke about how, between 2005 and 2016, 16,000 terrorist assaults had been carried out in opposition to Pakistan by over 50 militant teams, who noticed the US and Pakistan as collaborators. 

“We suffered greater than 80,000 casualties and misplaced over $150 billion within the economic system. The battle drove 3.5 million of our residents from their houses. The militants escaping from Pakistani counterterrorism efforts entered Afghanistan and had been then supported and financed by Indian and Afghan intelligence companies, launching much more assaults in opposition to us,” he stated. 

‘Corrupt and inept Afghan authorities’

The premier lashed out at former president Asif Ali Zardari, referring to him as “undoubtedly probably the most corrupt man to have led my nation”, accusing him of not worrying concerning the collateral harm brought on by US drone strikes. He stated former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was no totally different. 

He then make clear why the state of affairs in Afghanistan deteriorated, regardless of it bettering in Pakistan after the military’s onslaught in opposition to militants in 2016. 

“In Afghanistan, the shortage of legitimacy for an outsider’s protracted conflict was compounded by a corrupt and inept Afghan authorities, seen as a puppet regime with out credibility, particularly by rural Afghans,” he wrote. 

“Tragically, as a substitute of going through this actuality, the Afghan and Western governments created a handy scapegoat by blaming Pakistan, wrongly accusing us of offering secure havens to the Taliban and permitting its free motion throughout our border. If it had been so, would the USA not have used a few of the 450-plus drone strikes to focus on these supposed sanctuaries?”

The premier highlighted Pakistan’s steps to fulfill Kabul, including that Islamabad supplied Kabul a joint border visibility mechanism, prompt biometric border controls, advocated fencing the border and different measures. Every thought was rejected. 

“As a substitute, the Afghan authorities intensified the ‘blame Pakistan’ narrative, aided by Indian-run pretend information networks working a whole bunch of propaganda shops in a number of international locations,” he stated. 

He stated a extra life like strategy ought to have been negotiations with the Afghan authorities a lot earlier in order that the embarrassing collapse of the Afghan military and the Ashraf Ghani authorities may have been averted. 

“Absolutely Pakistan is to not blame for the truth that 300,000-plus well-trained and well-equipped Afghan safety forces noticed no cause to struggle the frivolously armed Taliban. The underlying drawback was an Afghan authorities construction missing legitimacy within the eyes of the typical Afghan,” he added. 

‘Interact with the brand new Afghan govt’

The prime minister stated the “proper factor” proper now for the world to do could be to interact with the brand new Afghanistan authorities, including that if assured of fixed humanitarian support, the Taliban can have better incentive to honour the worldwide group’s calls for. 

“Offering such incentives may even give the skin world further leverage to proceed persuading the Taliban to honor its commitments,” he wrote. 

“If we do that proper, we may obtain what the Doha peace course of geared toward all alongside: an Afghanistan that’s not a risk to the world, the place Afghans can lastly dream of peace after 4 many years of battle. The choice — abandoning Afghanistan — has been tried earlier than,” warned the prime minister.

As within the Nineties, it’s going to inevitably result in a meltdown. Chaos, mass migration and a revived risk of worldwide terror might be pure corollaries. Avoiding this should certainly be our world crucial.”

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