Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his country still is home to about 30,000 to 40,000 militants “who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir.”
Imran Khan made the startling revelation at the United States Institute of Peace during his three-day visit to the nation.
He said that before his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government came into power, the previous governments did not have the “political will” to disarm militant groups operating on their soil.
"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," said the Pakistan prime minister.
Khan added: “There was a watershed in Pakistani politics. In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 150 school children 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."
Claiming that his government was the first to start disarming of the militant groups, Imran Khan said, "This is the first time it’s happening. We’ve taken over their institutes, their seminaries. We have administrators there."
During a separate event, Khan also said that Pakistan had 40 different militant groups operating from its soil.
"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 said.
He was addressing a Capitol Hill reception hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus. Lee is also a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.
Part of the reason for this, Khan explained to the lawmakers, was that the Pakistani governments were not in control.
(With ANI inputs)
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