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Pakistan Prime Minister Urges U.S. To Step Up and Prevent Humanitarian Disaster in Afghanistan

Oct. 12, 2021 (EIRNS)—Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an interview with Middle East Eye published yesterday, called on the U.S. to “pull itself together” and deliver an aid package to Afghanistan or face the collapse of a country which would become a haven for Islamic State terrorists. Khan said it was vital to Pakistan that Washington should step up to the challenge, because his country, where tens of thousands have died in conflict linked to the U.S.-led “war on terror,” would again pay a heavy price.

“It’s a really critical time, and the U.S. has to pull itself together, because people in the United States are in a state of shock,” he told MEE in Islamabad on Oct. 7.

“They were imagining some sort of democracy, nation-building or liberated women, and suddenly they find the Taliban are back. There is so much anger and shock and surprise. Unless America takes the lead, we are worried that there will be chaos in Afghanistan, and we will be most affected by that.”

“The world must engage with Afghanistan, because if it pushes it away, within the Taliban movement there are hardliners, and it could easily go back to the Taliban of 2000, and that would be a disaster,” Khan warned. MEE reports that the U.S. Treasury is blocking Afghan access to more than $9 billion in assets that are held in the U.S. but that belong to the Afghan central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank. With half the population already below the poverty line, and 75% of the national budget dependent on foreign aid, sanctioning the Taliban would soon lead to a humanitarian disaster, Khan cautioned. “If they leave Afghanistan like this, my worry is that Afghanistan could easily revert back to 1989 when the Soviets and U.S. left and over 200,000 Afghans died in the chaos,” he said, referring to the civil war that followed the Soviet retreat from the country.

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