“Treated Like a Hired Gun”: Pakistan PM Reacts to US Criticism over Afghan Crisis

Story Highlights
  • Prime Minister Imran Khan claims Pakistan was treated “like a hired gun” by Americans.
  • Pleads to the Taliban to develop a consensus that would lead to recognition of the new caretaker government of the "Islamic Emirate" in Afghanistan.
  • Imran Khan denied allegations about Pakistan harboring Taliban members.

Pakistan: PM Imran Khan on Wednesday said his country was treated “like a hired gun” by Americans, a day after the US signalled it would examine its ties with Pakistan in light of the developments in Afghanistan. Mr Khan is pleading with the Taliban to reach an agreement that will lead to the recognition of the “Islamic Emirate’s” new caretaker government in Afghanistan.

According to him, the best way forward for peace and stability in Afghanistan is to engage with the Taliban and “incentivize” them on issues like women’s rights and inclusive government in his first interview with an international news organization since the Taliban took control of the war tore land last month. He said in the interview,“ I would imagine he’s very busy, but our relationship with the US is not just dependent on a phone call, it needs to be a multi-dimensional relationship.” Reacting to criticism levelled against Pakistan by several US lawmakers, he further said “We (Pakistan) were treated like hired guns.”

His remarks come after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a Senate hearing on Monday that the US will examine its relationship with Pakistan in the coming weeks. The Biden administration has been chastised for its failed Afghan exit, with numerous senators raising concerns about Pakistan’s role.

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