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Imran Khan admits Pakistan still has 30,000-40,000 militants

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 July 2019, 12:22 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday made a startling revelation that his country still has about 30,000 to 40,000 militants "who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir."

The Pakistani leader made these comments at the United States Institute of Peace during his three-day visit to the nation.

Khan also said that before his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government came into power, the governments did not have the "political will" to disarm militant groups operating on their soil.

"There was a watershed in Pakistani politics. In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 150 schoolchildren at Army Public School. All the political parties signed the National Action Plan and we all decided after that, that we will not allow any militant groups to operate inside Pakistan," 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," he revealed.

"We are the first government that has started disarming militant groups. This is the first time it's happening. We've taken over their institutes, their seminaries. We have administrators there," he added.

During a separate event, the Pakistani Prime Minister also said that they had 40 different militant groups operating within its borders.

He also claimed that previous governments were not in control and did not tell the US about the exact "truth on the ground."

"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," Khan told US lawmakers at the Capitol Hill.

"Part of the reason was, our governments were not in control. There were 40 different militant groups operating within Pakistan," he stated.

"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," Khan added.

-ANI

First published: 24 July 2019, 12:22 IST
 
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