Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in the United States for the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) session, has admitted that it was the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan top spy agency, which trained al-Qaeda to fight in Afghanistan during the Soviet war.
“ISI and Pakistan Army trained al-Qaeda and all these groups to fight in Afghanistan. There were always links, there had to be links because they trained them,” Imran Khan said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
PM Imran Khan’s statement is seen by many an admission of Pakistan’s Army’s support to terror groups like al-Qaeda to fight in Afghanistan against the Soviet forces with the help of the United States (US). However, it must be noted that al-Qaeda was not formed during the Soviet War.
It was after the exit of the Soviet forces that al-Qaeda was formed and claimed its territorial power in Afghanistan.
However, Imran Khan’s statement that Pakistan trained militant groups during the Soviet War, who later transformed into al-Qaeda, would be the right and factually correct.
“The resistance was organised by ISI training these militants, who were invited for jihad against the Soviet Union. And so, we created these militant groups to fight the Soviets. They were indoctrinated that fighting foreign occupation is jihad. But now, when the US arrived in Afghanistan, it was supposed to be terrorism. So Pakistan took a real battering in this,” Imran Khan said.
Although, what Imran Khan said is widely known as Pakistan was supported by the United States to arm, train and transport militants to Afghanistan in the name of jihad, his admission at a global platform has certainly raised eyebrows.
The admission of training militants and other terror groups has put both Islamabad and Trump administration in a difficult position, especially in relation to their credibility in seeking a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict through dialogue.
Analysts say Pakistan’s role in training and harbouring militants during the Soviet war for the US has now become its trump card, making it an undeniable compulsion for the Trump administration, which wants to exit Afghanistan.