Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said his country committed “one of the biggest blunders” by siding with the US after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and going after militant groups that had been trained by Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Saying the previous governments “should not have pledged what they could not deliver”, Khan, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Monday in New York, added that Pakistan should have remained neutral.
Khan was asked about former US Defence Secretary James Mattis’ remark that he considered Pakistan to be “the most dangerous” among all countries he had dealt with, Khan said: “I do not think Mattis fully understands why Pakistan became radicalised.”
“In the 1980s, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan, helped by the US, organised the resistance to the Soviets. The ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) trained militants who were invited from all over the Muslim world to do jihad against the Soviets,” Khan said in response to a question.
“And so we created these militant groups to fight the Soviets…Jihadis were heroes then. Come 1989, Soviets leave Afghanistan, the US packs up and leaves Afghanistan…and we were left with these groups,” he added.
“Then comes 9/11, and Pakistan again joins the US in the war on terror and now we are required to go after these groups as terrorists. They were indoctrinated that fighting foreign occupation is jihad but now when the US arrived in Afghanistan, it was supposed to be terrorism,” Khan added.
“So Pakistan took a real battering in this,” the Prime Minister said, adding that Pakistan should have stayed neutral in the conflict.
He insisted that there could be no military solution in Afghanistan and said he will urge U.S. President Donald Trump to resume peace talks. “For 19 years if you have not been able to succeed, you are not going to be able to succeed in another 19 years,” he added.
Responding to a question on al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden, Khan said some people in the Pakistan Army didn’t agree on going after terror groups in Afghanistan.
“The Pakistani army ISI trained Al Qaeda and all these groups to fight in Afghanistan, there were always links, there had to be links because they trained them. When we did a 180-degree turn and went after those groups, not everyone agreed with us, within the army people did not agree with us, so there were insider attacks in Pakistan. There were two suicide attacks on General Musharraf, which were insider (attacks), from within the army,” Khan said.
Attempting to draw international attention on Kashmir, Khan also said the least he expects the international community to do is to urge India to lift the curfew in Kashmir.
Responding to a question, Khan said he had urged his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to “reset” bilateral ties and his government waited to resume talks until after the elections in India were over but then it found that “India is pushing us in the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to bankrupt us”.
He said that by abrogating Article 370, India had cast aside the UN Security Council resolutions, the Simla accord and its own Constitution. Khan said he would ask the UN to play its role on the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.
On Pakistan’s fragile economy, Khan said his government had inherited “the biggest current account deficit” in the country’s history and “so the first year has been a real struggle”. Khan thanked China for helping “when we were at the rock bottom”.
“China has given us a great opportunity to lift ourselves up from where we are right now,” he added.
Khan, who is in the US on a week-long visit, will be addressing the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, the same day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India-Canada row: No special exemption to India, says US NSA Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
The United States on Thursday affirmed that it is in constant communication with India and Canada amid increasing diplomatic tensions between both the countries. The diplomatic standoff broke out after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted that his country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Speaking on the matter, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that the US will be in contact with India at the highest level. He added that it is a matter of concern for them and they are taking it seriously. He asserted that this is something that they will keep working on, noting that there was no special exemption to India in the case.
He underlined that there is not some special exemption for actions like this. He added that regardless of the country, they will stand up and defend their basic principles. In addition, he affirmed that the US will also consult closely with allies like Canada as they pursue their law enforcement and diplomatic process.
Jake Sullivan further dismissed reports that the US’s desire to strengthen ties with India would constrain its ability to voice concerns about the allegations. He asserted that the Joe Biden administration took Canada’s allegations seriously and it was in constant contact with Ottawa.
He also noted that the US have deep concerns about the allegations and that they would like to see this investigation carried forward and the perpetrators held to account. Meanwhile, New Delhi outrightly rejected Canada’s allegation as absurd and motivated. In a tit for tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case, New Delhi expelled a senior Canadian diplomat.
On Thursday, India asked Canada to take action against terrorists and anti-India elements operating from its soil. Furthermore, India also suspended visa services for Canadians, as the diplomatic standoff over Nijjar’s killing pushed their ties to an all-time low.
Canadian High Commission asks Centre to ensure safety, security of its diplomats, staff in India
The High Commission affirmed that all consulates in India are open and operational and will continue to serve clients.
Amidst rising tensions between India and Canada, the Canadian High Commission on Thursday asserted that some of its diplomats have received threats on social media. It urged India to provide security for Canadian diplomats and consular officers in the country. The High Commission further revealed that it has decided to temporarily adjust its staff presence in the country.
The High Commission also affirmed that all consulates in India are open and operational and will continue to serve clients. It added that in the view of the current environment where tensions have heightened, they are taking action to ascertain the safety of their diplomats. It further underlined that Global Affairs Canada is continuously supervising the safety and security of their missions and personnel as they maintain a strict security protocol to respond to any events.
On the other hand, the Vancouver Police Department has tightened security outside India’s Consulate amid planned threats from proscribed group Sikhs for Justice after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that Indian government agents were responsible for the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Const. Tania Visintin, the department’s media relations officer, noted that Vancouver police are not aware of any specific threats to Indian consular officials, but have increased police presence at the downtown Vancouver consulate.
In a shocking claim on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the country’s security agencies were investigating a link between the Indian government and the killing of Nijjar. Following this, both India and Canada have been engaged in a diplomatic standoff. Earlier on Thursday, India suspended visa services for Canadian nationals until further notice owing to operation reasons.
In a meeting that was held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly conveyed strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada, promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship.
Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi claims responsibility for Sukhdool Singh’s killing in Canada
Terming Sukhdool Singh, a drug addict, Bishnoi’s gang claimed that he destroyed the lives of many people and that he was untimely punished for his sins.
Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi has reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing of terrorist Sukhdool Singh in Canada’s Winnipeg city. According to reports, in a Facebook post, Lawrence Bishnoi’s gang stated that Sukhdool Singh, aka Sukha Dunuke, had played a pivotal role in the killings of gangsters Gurlal Brar and Vicky Middkhera. They further alleged that the murders were plotted by Sukhdool Singh when he was staying abroad.
Terming Sukhdool Singh, a drug addict, Bishnoi’s gang claimed that he destroyed the lives of many people and that he was untimely punished for his sins. Lawrence Bishno’s gang also alleged that Sukhdool Singh, a member of Davinder Bambiha, also got Sandeep Nangal Ambiya, another gangster, killed. They added that it gave a stern warning to their enemies, stating they would not be able to live in peace, even if they hide in India or any other country.
The Killing of Sukhdool Singh came amid growing diplomatic tensions between India and Canada over the killing of another Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British California. Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was wanted in India, was gunned down outside a gurdwara in June.
Meanwhile, Lawrence Bishnoi is currently behind bars in Ahmedabad in a drugs smuggling case probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). In addition, he is also an accused in the Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala murder case.
Sukhdool Singh is reportedly an A-category gangster, who hailed from Punjab’s Moga and earlier escaped from his state to Canada. He was an aide of Khalistani terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala. As far as reports are concerned, in 2017, Sukhdool Singh alias Sukha Dunuke obtained a passport and a police clearance certificate on forged documents to flee to Canada despite having seven criminal cases lodged against him.
Reports suggested that Sukhdool Singh, an aide of Khalistani terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala, was killed in an inter-gang rivalry.