Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) chief Imran Khan took a dig at both India and United States by reacting to the latter’s new policy on Afghanistan. “Just as India blames Pak for the indigenous Kashmiri uprisings when these are a result of its own failed policy of military repression in IOK, so the US again blames Pak for its deeply flawed and failed Afghan policy stretching over a decade,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
Addressing Army troops at Fort Myer, US President Donald Trump identified Pakistan as a refuge state to terrorism. “Pakistan often gives safe havens to agents of chaos, violence and terror,” he said, adding that more than 20 US designated terror organisation are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world. “We cannot be silent about Pakistan’s safe haven for terror groups,” Trump said.
The PTI chief lashed out at Trump’s remarks and said that this should teach Pakistan “never to fight others wars for the lure of dollars.” “We fought two wars in Afghanistan at the US behest, paying heavy human and economic costs both times. We sacrificed 70000 Pak lives in US’ war on terror. Our economy suffered over $100 billion in losses. In addition, there were intangible costs on our society. Time for Pak to say: Never again,” he said. “We must also reject being made scapegoats for the policy failures of the US and India,” Khan added.
After months of speculation and delays over his plans about Afghanistan, Trump finally unveiled his strategy to win a war which has stretched over 16 years. He credited Pakistan for its previous efforts in the war against terrorism. “In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognise those contributions and those sacrifices,” Trump said. “But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people,” he added.
Trump noted that the US has been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars but it continues to house the very terrorists that America is fighting. “But that will have to change. That will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harbouring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace,” Trump said.
Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the US Hamdullah Mohib thanked Trump for breaking his silence on Pakistan.