Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan is a victim of the "war on terror' and that it was not responsible for the events of 9/11. He made his remarks in an interview that aired on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) on August 21, 2021. Qureshi added that Pakistan kept saying that the government imposed in Afghanistan did not enjoy political support and that it was full of corruption. He added that Pakistan has been blamed enough and said: "Stop scapegoating Pakistan. Qureshi continued to say that Pakistan wants to be a partner in peace, it can be the most "trusted interlocutor in this evolving situation."
Shah Mahmood Qureshi: "Pakistan is a victim of this 'War on Terror'. We've had 80,000 casualties, we've had an economic loss of over 150 billion dollars, we had to deal with 2 million... close to 2 million... internally displaced people, we are hosting over 3 million Afghan refugees the world had forgotten, and we were not responsible for 9/11 – there was no Pakistan involved.
"In fact, people rushed into Pakistan, you know, when there was an operation that started, by the Americans, without consultation. We were not consulted. And people came in, and we had to deal with them, we had to cleanse our areas, we had to fight, we had to protect our people. Innocent lives were lost. And we were asked to do more.
"Whenever we engaged with the international community with sincerity, we were doubted, we were questioned. We kept telling the world that the kind of government you've imposed in Afghanistan does not enjoy political support. There is corruption, there is misgovernance. Nobody doesn't...
"If you spend a year, if you waste a year in Doha, and listen to Ashraf Ghani, who is a stumbling block in the intra-Afghan negotiations, is Pakistan responsible? Certainly not. We kept saying: keep the process of negotiations in tandem with the date of withdrawal. Unconditional withdrawal, were we consulted? No. Withdrawal, were we consulted? No.
"Pakistan has been blamed enough, you know. We've had enough of bashing, we've had our share of bashing. Stop scapegoating Pakistan for internal failures.
"I was shocked when I was sitting in Tashkent, listening to Ashraf Ghani, when he said 'Oh! Things have gone wrong because 10,000 infiltrators have been pushed into Afghanistan from Pakistan.' Really? it was the most absurd statement made by anyone, and everybody was listening.
"The question is: you had a force of 300,000 trained people. You know, you had air cover, you were the most, you know, you were well equipped, trained. But you didn't have the will to fight. Now, is Pakistan responsible for that?
"I think the initial statements that are coming out from the leadership are indicative of a new approach. We should encourage that, we should encourage the moderate element, the political approach, because there is no military solution. If there was one, you couldn't find it in 20 years. So, listen to Pakistan. Stop scapegoating Pakistan. Pakistan wants to be a partner in peace. Pakistan can be the most trusted interlocutor in this evolving situation."