Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated that the US “really messed it up in Afghanistan,” questioning the US motive for invading the country in the first place and then attempting to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban from a position of weakness.
The prime minister’s comments came as the US military and NATO are nearing the end of their involvement in Afghanistan, which has witnessed a resurgence of the Taliban throughout the country.
“I think the US has really messed it up in Afghanistan,” the premier said during an appearance on PBS NewsHour, an American news program, aired on Tuesday night.
PM Khan criticized the US for trying to “look for a military solution in Afghanistan when there never was one”.
“And people like me who kept saying that there’s no military solution, who know the history of Afghanistan, we were called — people like me were called anti-American. I was called Taliban Khan.”
He lamented that by the time the US realized that there was no military solution in Afghanistan, “unfortunately, the bargaining power of the Americans or the Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces) had gone”.
When there were as many as 150,000 Nato soldiers in Afghanistan, the prime minister argued, the US should have opted for a diplomatic solution far sooner.
“But once they had reduced the troops to barely 10,000, and then when they gave an exit date, the Taliban thought they had won. And so, therefore, it was very difficult for now to get them to compromise,” he said.