During his recent speech in National Assembly, PM Khan took a strong stance against Pakistan’s participation in the US War on Terror. PM Khan said in his NA speech that Pakistan’s biggest mistake was to become a frontier state for the US’ war as it led to huge human and economic loss for the country.
However, according to a defence analyst on Twitter, Fidato, PM Khan’s NA speech where he discussed the initial years of Pakistan’s war against terror after the US invasion was devoid of facts. He proceeds to make some important clarifications in a lengthy Twitter thread.
Read more: Imran Khan’s speech in National Assembly of Pakistan
In his NA speech, PM Khan criticized Pervez Musharraf who was heading Pakistan at that time. He said Pervez Musharraf let the US pressurize Pakistan and surrendered Pakistanis to Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
Fidato contradicts this by saying that Mir Aimal Kasi was the only Pakistani who was handed over to the US authorities. Out of 689 militants of Al-Qaeda apprehended by Pakistan, 369 were handed over to the US. They were not Pakistanis but foreign fighters who had escaped into FATA after the aerial bombardment of US forces when they dropped 12000 bombs out of which 40% were misguided.
689 militants of Al Qaeda apprehended by Pakistan, 369 were handed over to the United States. They were not Pakistanis but foreign fighters who had escaped into erstwhile FATA after the aerial bombardment by US forces when they dropped 12000 bombs out of which 40% were misguided.
— Fidato (@tequieremos) July 1, 2021
The Battle of Tora Bora
PM Khan also talked about how the Battle of Tora Bora caused Al-Qaeda militants to escape into the tribal areas of Pakistan. The Pakistan Army was later ordered by the US to deal with the escaped militants, resulting in bloodshed in tribal areas. PM Khan continuously stressed how there were only a few escaped militants and the rest were civilians.
Fidato counters this statement of PM Khan by saying that the Battle of Tora Bora started on December 3, 2001, and in the next four days, B-52s and other high altitude aircraft dropped 700,000 pounds of explosives on Al-Qaeda’s suspected positions.
Read more: Al Qaeda in Karachi: Security agencies kills 3 in Khuda Bux Goth Area
However, the US military failed to realize that Tora Bora was constructed 15 years before, to withstand heavy Soviet aerial bombardment. Without the coordination of Pakistani forces on the other side of the border, and due to the number of routes available on the Pak-Afghan border, fighters of Al-Qaeda managed to escape.
Fidato also clarifies that the numbers were not in “few hundred” as PM Khan reiterated, however, there were more than 10, 000 foreign fighters.
4. Thanks to the number of routes available on Pak Afghan border as shown in the excerpt from Saleem Shahzad's "Inside Al Qaeda and Taliban”, fighters of AQ managed to escape.
Their number was not in ‘few hundred’ as the PM said but they were more than 10,000 foreign fighters. pic.twitter.com/7Ps578gCDt
— Fidato (@tequieremos) July 1, 2021
PM Khan stated that due to the Army’s operations in the tribal areas, those areas still have not recovered. However Fidato writes that when Musharraf ordered the military to enter the areas of FATA, it was with the consent of the tribesmen, and in the next two years, the Army engineers built 700 KMs or roads, over three dozen schools for girls and boys, four colleges. The Army also provided basic health facilities which were previously inaccessible to FATA.
Furthermore, Fidato acknowledges ex-President Pervaiz Musharraf’s response towards the war on terror and concludes the thread by stating that Pakistan’s achievements against Al-Qaeda are more than any other country in the world. More than 1000 were killed, and around 700 operatives were apprehended which dismantled an organization that was a threat to the world.
Read more: America’s War on Terror & Pakistan’s sacrifices – Need for acknowledgment
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