ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday delivered a long address to the National Assembly during which he stressed that Pakistan could partner with the United States in peace, but never again in war.
“The US was defeated in Afghanistan and they tried to shift the blame of their defeat on us.”
The prime minister said the Afghanis were the brothers of Pakistanis, and that Islamabad knew them better than Washington. “We have decided to not comprise on the country’s sovereignty.”
PM Imran Khan said the US was trying to force Pakistan to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table, but we “do not wish for strategic depth in Afghanistan and we will respect the decision of the Afghans.”
The premier said Pakistan chose to aid America in the war against terror “but after that, we captured our own people and sent them to Guantanamo Bay — and former president Pervez Musharraf admitted this”.
“We sacrificed 70,000 people and wasted $150 billion in the war against terror,” he said, adding that after the Tora Bora incident, Al Qaeda started its operations in Pakistan.
“We received directions to send our troops to the tribal areas in pursuit of a few hundred people,” the prime minister said. He noted that the people living in tribal areas paid a hefty price as they were collateral damage in drone attacks.
His address came a day after the government smoothly passed budget 2021-22.