Joining US war biggest blunder: PM Khan.

NEW YORK -- Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that Pakistan should not have joined the US-led war on terror, adding that 70,000 Pakistanis have died so far in the war on terror and the country has lost hundreds of billions in economy. The premier said this in conversation with Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) President Richard N Haass. He discussed the current state of US-Pakistan relations, recent developments in occupied Kashmir, and Pakistan's relationship with India, Afghanistan, and other neighbouring countries. Answering a question regarding former US defence secretary James Mattis' remark that he considered Pakistan to be 'the most dangerous' among all countries he had dealt with, PM Imran said, 'I do not think James Mattis fully understands why Pakistan became radicalised'. 'In the 1980s, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan, helped by the United States, organised the resistance to the Soviets. And the resistance was organised by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) training these militants who were invited from all over the Muslim world to do jihad against the Soviet Union,' he added. 'And so we created these militant groups to fight the Soviets.

Jihadis were heroes then. Come 1989, Soviets leave Afghanistan, the US packs up and leaves Afghanistan and we were left with these groups. 'Then comes 9/11, and Pakistan again joins the US in the war on terror and now we are required to go after these groups as terrorists. They were indoctrinated that fighting foreign occupation in jihad but now when the US arrived in Afghanistan, it was supposed to be terrorism,' he said. 'So Pakistan took a real battering in this,' he said, adding that Pakistan should have stayed neutral in the conflict. 'Pakistan by joining the US after 9/11 committed one of the biggest blunders,' he said, noting that 70,000 Pakistanis had died in the ensuing violence and the country lost hundreds of billions in economy. 'I think the Pakistani government should not have pledged what they could not deliver.' To a question regarding insurgents allegedly going from Pakistan to carry out attacks in Afghanistan, PM Imran said that there are some 2.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and there is no actual...

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