In astonishing admissions, during his visit to Washington DC earlier this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan admitted that there were 40 different militant groups and over 30-40,000 militants operating inside Pakistan.
While addressing a Capitol Hill reception hosted in his honor, Khan stated, “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.”
Further, Khan asserted “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.”
Earlier that morning while speaking at the DC-based think tank United States Institute of Peace, Khan said “Until we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because when you talk about militant groups we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed people who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir.”
For the sake of Pakistanis and Pakistan one hopes that these admissions will be followed by real, tough and consistent action against all these terror groups. But we would not bet on that.