Islamabad: Imran Khan, who’s in the running to be Pakistan’s next Prime Minister, made it abundantly clear on Tuesday what his policy vis-a-vis the US will likely be, with this message ‘Never again will we fight your wars for you.’
Khan also slammed the US for its “flawed and failed Afghan policy” and said that Pakistan “must reject being made (a) scapegoat” for US failures.
The Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician was reacting to what is possibly US President Donald Trump’s harshest verbal attack on Pakistan to date.
While announcing the US’s Afghanistan policy review earlier in the day, Trump pretty much appeared to blame Pakistan for the entire mess in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan is giving “safe havens to agents of chaos, violence and terror”.
“That will have to change and that will change immediately. it is time for Pakistan to dedicate to civilization and order and peace,” Trump said.
Khan was having none of it. He indicated the US was ungrateful, considering “we sacrificed 70000 Pak lives in US WOT (war on terror)”.
“We fought 2 wars in Afghanistan at the US behest paying heavy human and economic costs both times…This shd (should) teach Pak once and for all a valuable lesson: never to fight others wars for the lure of dollars.
Khan said Pakistan has suffered “over $100 billion in losses” by helping the US in its ‘war on terror’.
Earlier, Trump too referred to the “billions and billions of dollars” in aid Pakistan gets from the US.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” said Trump, suggesting that military and other aid to Washington’s nuclear-armed ally is at stake if it does not clamp down on extremism.
Khan meanwhile said such statements should be “a lesson for Pakistan”.
Khan’s dislike for the US is well known. In January, when Trump announced a US travel ban on Syrian refugees and people from seven other Muslim countries, Khan said he hoped Pakistanis were banned as well. (They weren’t.)
Earlier this month, in an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, Khan said Pakistan must detach itself from American influence and pull out of the “war on terror” to create prosperity and achieve regional peace.
“Aid cripples the country. It enslaves the country. You are dictated decisions from abroad. I’m completely against this,” Khan said to the British paper.
He also blamed Pakistan’s elite. “Sadly, our ruling elite took dollars from the Americans and went into this war,” Khan said.