Sliding to irrelevance, Pakistan – the cradle of Islamic terrorism, has now resorted to new rhetoric of pushing the blame on others to avoid condemnation for its own failures. As the terrorist state of Pakistan has been globally isolated and shamed for its state-sponsored terror policy, a desperate Prime Minister has now held the United States of America, one of their erstwhile patrons, responsible for the current crisis in Pakistan.
Speaking to Russia Today, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday pointed fingers towards the United States of America for the current state of Pakistan and blamed America for its policies adopted during the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the ‘War on Terror’ post 9/11 terror attacks. Imran Khan also stated that it was because of America’s policies during the Soviet-Afghan wars and post-2001 that resulted in Pakistan becoming a dangerous country in the world.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan said it was unfair to blame Pakistan for the setbacks suffered by Washington in Afghanistan. He further added that Pakistan suffered damage when it decided to side with the US post 9/11. “Had we not participated in the American war after 9/11, we would not have been the world’s most dangerous country,” said Imran Khan.
“In the 80s we were training these Mujahideen people to do jihad against Soviet when they occupied Afghanistan. So, these people were trained by Pakistan, funded by the US’s CIA and now a decade later when the Americans come into Afghanistan, the same groups who are all in Pakistan are supposed to say that now because Americans are there it is no longer jihad its terrorism,” Khan said to Russia Today.
“It was a big contradiction and I strongly felt that Pakistan should have been neutral because by joining in, these groups turned against us”.
Khan said that Pakistan lost 70,000 people and over 100 billion dollars of the economy. “In the end, we were blamed for the Americans not succeeding in Afghanistan. I felt it was very unfair on Pakistan,” he added.
It is a bit rich for Pakistan Prime Imran Khan to put the blame on the United States of America for their own failure to develop as a functioning state. Ever since the state of Pakistan came into existence, it has always acted as a rental state to other powers while surviving on the alms and grants provided by its so-called allies.
In 1979, at the height of the cold war when Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan, being at the strategic crossroads, was used by the Americans as a base for their operations to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. Since then, the United States of America has invested a lot in Pakistan hoping that the Islamic country would promote its strategic goals in the region.
With America cosying up to Pakistan, billion dollars of worth arms, machinery, planes, food, grants flew to the terror state so that they could fight America’s war in Afghanistan, first against the Soviets and then against the Islamic group, which they had nurtured in the form of ‘Mujahideen’ in the past decade.
It is not just limited arms and aids. Pakistan, realising the weakness of the Americans, were able to negotiate better terms with their allies, resulting in Pakistani establishment gaining leverage in diplomacy, international fora, which they somewhat used effectively to subdue it eternal enemy – India.
The direct beneficiaries of America support in Pakistan were its military establishment. The ‘War on Soviets’ and ‘War on Terror’ both needed massive military buildup, which resulted in the modernisation programme of Pakistani military establishment. In a way, the United State of America literally built Pakistani armed forces with training and armaments to fight their war in Afghanistan.
The Americans saw Pakistan as a strategic point and spent huge money in the Pakistan post-2001. Pakistan was the direct beneficiary of war on terror. Without any doubt, it can be stated that Pakistan as a state would have ceased to exist if the USA had chosen not to fight their wars in Afghanistan.
Since the 1980s, Pakistan has received billions of dollars of funds to fight America’s war in Afghanistan. The Americans have poured in huge resources in Pakistan without reaping any gains in return from Pakistan. Pakistan, on the other hand, has stabbed their allies in the back by not only sidestepping from fighting terror but also being an ally for those Islamic terror groups by giving safe havens inside its territory.
In fact, Imran Khan is not incorrect in saying that the United States of America armed and funded Islamist groups to further its own ambitions. For example, there were several allegations that it was the CIA that had funded even Osama Bin Laden for its war against the Soviets and supported his ‘Afghan warriors’. There were several speculations that David Headley, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack was also a CIA asset gone rogue. That he was sent to gather intel from Pakistan terror groups and then, he was radicalised.
It is thus true that the USA has furthered Islamic Jihad to meet its end. However, Pakistan was used by the USA because it was predisposed to using and supporting Islamic extremism. Till date, Pakistan uses Jihad as a state policy. In fact, it appeals to the Islamic Nations based on its Islamic identity more than on merits of diplomatic arguments. For Imran Khan to now say that Pakistan should have stayed neutral is a direct assault on the USA and against the decades of funding that the terror state got from the USA because it was more than willing to wage Jihad.
It is also interesting that Imran Khan would say that joining the famed ‘war on terror’ turned the Jihadi groups against Pakistan and hence, Pakistan should have stayed neutral. Firstly, Pakistan staying neutral was not an option because they only commodity that they had to trade to get enough funding for their survival was Islamic extremism. Secondly, Imran Khan seems to be living up to the nickname he acquired before he became the Prime Minister – Imran Taliban Khan. Taliban and other Jihadi organisations have often blamed the West for everything that ails Islamic nations. By saying that supporting America in its Afghanistan mission has resulted in the downfall of Pakistan is just Imran Khan speaking the language that the Taliban has spoken for decades.
The Americans seem to have finally woken up from their slumber as they have now realised that Pakistan has been playing a dangerous game with them all along. Ever since Donald Trump assumed the seat of the US President, American policy on Pakistan has seen a decisive shift. Recently, the US had slashed its aid to Pakistan by a further $440 million. Last year the USA had cancelled military aid worth over 300 million USD.
Before that, the Pentagon had slashed aid worth 1 billion USD, citing Pakistan’s failure to crack down on terror outfits. During Imran Khan’s visit to the US recently, Donald Trump had said to his face that the US has decided to cut down aid to Pakistan. “We were paying 1.3 billion dollars to Pakistan as an aid for many years. Pakistan was not doing anything for us. They were really subversive,” said Trump recently.
President Donald Trump had also reiterated that the relationship between Pakistan and the United States of America was better once they decided to cut down the aid to Pakistan as the latter failed to take actions against terrorist groups emanating from Pakistan.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has recognised that his country has been relegated to third-grade trash, especially by the Western powers, which was also evident in recent Pakistan’s fiasco to internationalise the issue of Kashmir following the revocation of special status in Jammu and Kashmir. With Americans deciding to not to stand with a terror state, Pakistan PM Imran Khan seems to have frustrated and back to his usual rhetorics of blaming everyone for their misdeeds.