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US ‘Really Messed Up’: Pakistan PM Imran Khan on the Afghanistan War

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The escalating conflict situation in the country has resulted in the deaths of as many as 4,000 people, as well as the internal displacement of over 2 lakh citizens of the country. Almost one-third of the country is actively involved in the fighting.

US Lost Their Bargaining Power: Khan

Imran Khan claimed that by the time US realised that there was no military solution in Afghanistan, it was too late, as they had lost their bargaining power.

He added that the US should have opted for a political settlement earlier, when 1,50,000 NATO troops were stationed in Afghanistan.

“But once they had reduced the troops to barely 10,000, and then, when they gave an exit date, the Taliban thought they had won. And so, therefore, it was very difficult for now to get them to compromise,” he was quoted as saying.

Impact on Pakistan

For Pakistan, the “worst-case scenario” as Khan described, would be for Afghanistan to descend into a civil war, as that would lead to a refugee problem and its consequences could “flow into Pakistan”.

Responding to whether Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan was a positive development, Khan stated that the only good outcome would be an inclusive political settlement, where Taliban will be a part of the government.

He was quoted as saying, “Already, Pakistan is hosting over three million Afghan refugees. And what we fear is that a protracted civil war would bring more refugees. And our economic situation is not such that we can have another influx,” PTI reported.

In the aftermath of the US war in Afghanistan, Khan said that 70,000 Pakistanis had died, even when “Pakistan had nothing to do with what happened,” on 11 September 2001.

He stated that “there were no militant Taliban in Pakistan,” and said that no Pakistani national was involved in the attack.

Repeating “we had nothing to do with,” Khan said that the war in Afghanistan had cost $150 billion to Pakistan’s economy.

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