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Sunday October 24, 2021

Biden facing unfair criticism for US pullout: PM

September 19, 2021
Biden facing unfair criticism for US pullout: PM

ISLAMABAD: United States President Joe Biden has faced "unfair" criticism for the troop pull out from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday.

"The American president took a wise decision," Imran Khan said during an interview with Russia Today (RT) television. The premier said intelligence chiefs of Pakistan and the US were in contact over the situation in Afghanistan.

The prime minister noted that in America's war on Afghanistan, Pakistan suffered the most and despite not having any link to the 9/11 incident, Islamabad was made a part of the allied forces.

Responding to a question, the prime minister said that despite being an ally of the United States, 480 drone strikes were carried out in Pakistan.

"Pakistan paid a heavy price for siding with the US in its occupation of Afghanistan, so hearing American politicians blame Islamabad for its humiliating retreat hurts," the premier said.

On the allegations that Pakistan had helped Taliban against the US, he said: "If [this] allegation is considered true, then it means that Pakistan is stronger than the US."

The puppet Afghan government had propagated the idea that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the prime minister said, talking about Ashraf Ghani's regime, which was ousted in mid-August by the insurgents.

"Ashraf Ghani's government carried out propaganda against Pakistan to hide its incompetence," he said, adding that India had also sponsored anti-Pakistan propaganda to fulfil its evil intentions.

Talking about recognising the Taliban government, the prime minister said Pakistan was in deliberations with neighbouring countries regarding the matter.

"The Taliban are a reality, the world will have to give them a chance," he said.

The international community will have to support the Taliban for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, as 75 percent of the country's budget runs on international funding. "Sanctions will destroy Afghanistan," he added.

Stressing the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, Imran Khan warned that instability in the war-torn country could affect all the neighbouring countries.

Imran Khan said that inclusive government is the only way to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“We think that in the interest of Afghanistan and for long term stability an inclusive government should be formed to strengthen unity there,” he added.

The premier said the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit meeting was important as it was attended by almost all the neighbours of Afghanistan. He said Pakistan was part of the international community and the recognition of the Taliban government in Afghanistan would be a significant step.

From the standpoint of Pakistan, he said terrorism was also feared from the soil of Afghanistan because previously three terrorist groups were using the Afghan soil for terrorism in Pakistan. To another query, he said that Pak-Russia ties were improving, adding that they wanted to further boost their relations with Moscow. Pakistan has also good relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia.