Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the United States "really messed it up" in Afghanistan by initially looking for a military solution and then attempting to seek a political solution from a position of weakness.
"I think the US has really messed it up in Afghanistan," the Prime Minister said during an interview with PBS NewsHour aired Tuesday night.
He added: "The US should have opted for a political solution when the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan was at an all-time high and not when they had reduced the troops to barely 10,000."
Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants that they would prevent extremist groups from operating in areas they control. US President Joe Biden has announced that American troops will be out of the country by August 31.
Pakistan has been long accused of helping the Taliban militarily, financially and with intelligence inputs in their fight against the Afghanistan government, which Imran Khan dismissed as "extremely unfair".
He also said that 70,000 Pakistanis had died in the aftermath of the US war in Afghanistan, even when "Pakistan had nothing to do with what happened (in New York on September 11, 2001)."
At the time, Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan and "there were no militant Taliban in Pakistan," he said, maintaining that no Pakistani national was involved in the attack on the World Trade Centre.
"We had nothing to do with," he repeated, regretting that the war in Afghanistan had resulted in a loss of 150 billion dollars to Pakistan's economy.
According to a report prepared for the UN Security Council, about 6,000 terrorists of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are operating on the Afghan side of the border. While the TTP has "distinctive anti-Pakistan objectives", it also supports the Afghan Taliban militants inside Afghanistan against Afghan Forces, the report by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team said.
UN monitors note that TTP "has distinctive anti-Pakistan objectives but also supports the Afghan Taliban militarily inside Afghanistan against Afghan government forces".
When asked about a recent report of 10,000 Pakistani fighters crossing over the border to help the Taliban, he said, "This is absolute nonsense. Why don't they give us evidence of this?"
When questioned about his controversial remarks on rape, which had drawn widespread criticism and earned him rebuke from civil society, political circles and on social media, Khan said that "anyone who commits rape, solely and solely, that person is responsible."
"No matter whatever, how much ever a woman is provocative or whatever she wears, the person who commits rape, he is fully responsible. Never is the victim responsible," he clarified. (ANI)