Says rape comment taken out of context deliberately
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the US has messed it up in Afghanistan, in an interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS News Hour on Wednesday.
“First of all they tried to find a military solution for Afghanistan when there never was one,” he said. The prime minister said that people like him who kept saying this were called anti-American. “I was called Taliban Khan.”
I don’t know what the objective was in Afghanistan, whether it was to have some nation-building, democracy or liberate the women, whatever the cause was, the way they went about was never going to be the solution," Imran Khan said.
The US and Nato forces lost their bargaining power by the time they realized that there was no military solution. “When they had 15,000 troops in Afghanistan, that was the time to go for a political solution.”
When they reduced troops to 10,000 and announced an exit date, the Taliban thought they had won, he added. “It is now very difficult to force them into a political solution.”
The prime minister said that the only good outcome for Afghanistan is if there is a political settlement which is inclusive – a sort of government that includes all factions there. “Obviously, the Taliban will be part of that government.”
From Pakistan’s perspective, a protracted civil war in Afghanistan will be the worst case scenario, he said.
He believes that two of the biggest worries for Pakistan in such a case would be an influx of refugees and a spillover of the civil war in Pakistan. “The Taliban are ethnic Pashtun. Now, there are more Pashtun on our side of the border than Afghanistan. And if this goes on, the Pashtun on our side will be drawn into it,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s accusation that 10,000 fighters have entered Afghanistan from Pakistan to join the Taliban an “absolute nonsense.” Why don’t they give us evidence of that, he asked.
How does he see Pakistan-US relations given his statement that Pakistan will not provide the CIA any bases? “We do not have any more capacity to have any more fighting within our border and terrorism within our country because when we were at the height of that war on terror, there were suicide bombs taking place all over the country. Businesses collapsed, tourism collapsed, we do not want to be part of any conflict.”
If there is conflict going on in Afghanistan and there is a base in Pakistan, we then become targets, said Imran Khan. “We want to be partners in peace but not in conflict.”
The last US-Pakistan relationship was transactional. Pakistan was more like a hired gun, he said. The US says we gave you aid that’s why you were fighting the war on terror, the PM added. Pakistanis feel that we lost 70,000 lives fighting someone else’s war and the aid we got was minuscule compared to the damage we suffered, he said.
Pakistan’s position is straightforward; we have helped bring the Taliban to the dialogue table, we have done our bit, PM Khan said.
There’s nothing more we can do, except push the (Taliban) as much as we can for a political settlement, said PM Khan. “That’s all.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan had said in an earlier interview on HBO Axios that men are not "robots" and he linked temptation to women’s clothing. When Woodruff asked if he truly believed this statement, he said, “Anyone who commits rape, solely and solely that person, is responsible.”
“No matter how much a woman is provocative or whatever she wears, the person who commits rape, he is fully responsible, never is the victim is responsible,” he said.
The prime minister said his comments were taken out of context. “They were simply talking about Pakistani society , where we are having a rise, a sharp rise sex crimes,” the PM explained.
Sex crimes do not just include women, he said. “More than rape is child abuse, which going through the roof, my comments were in that context.”
“I used Purdah. In Islam, Purdah does not mean just clothes. And it is not restricted to women only, it is for men as well,” he said. The prime minister said purdah mean bringing temptation down in society.
“It was taken out of [context] deliberately. And I have to say this because in all the interviews I have given, never would I say such a stupid thing.”