During his maiden visit to the US, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that successive governments in Pakistan did not tell the truth to the United States for the last 15 years about 40 different militant groups operating in his country.
Imran Khan said, “We were fighting the US war on terror. Pakistan has nothing to do with 9/11. Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan. There were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. But we joined the US war. Unfortunately, when things went wrong, where I blame my government, we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the ground”.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus hosted a Capitol hill reception where Khan was addressing.
Imran Khan also explained to the lawmakers that “Pakistani governments were not in control”.
“There were 40 different militant groups operating within Pakistan. So Pakistan went through a period where people like us were worried about could we survive it. So while the US expected us to do more and help the US win the war, Pakistan at that time was fighting for its own existence,” Khan added.
After meeting US President Donald Trump, Khan said: “The meet was very important”.
“We have explained to them that the way forward is number one, the relationship has to be based on mutual trust,” he said
Imran Khan said, “Pakistan is trying its best to get the Taliban on the table to start this dialogue”.
Khan further said, “Do not expect this to be easy, because it is a very complicated situation in Afghanistan. But rest assured, we would be trying our best. The whole country is standing behind me. The Pakistan Army, the security forces, all are behind me. We all have one objective and it is exactly the same objective as the US, which is to have a peaceful solution as quickly as possible in Afghanistan”.
Last week, the United States had put pressure on Imran Khan to take “irreversible action” against terrorist and militant groups and to “facilitate peace talks” with the Taliban for intra-Afghan dialogue, according to the White House.
Earlier in June this year, Alice Wells, the State Department’s acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs said, “We recognize that Pakistan has taken steps to encourage Taliban participation in peace negotiations, which has been important to the progress we have made thus far”.
In his last public engagement before winding up his three-day US visit, Imran Khan hoped that the US-Pakistan relationship would now be at a different level.