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What Pakistan PM Imran Khan said about 'mujahideen' at UNGA that he drew flak

Imran Khan said in 1983, United States President Ronald Reagan compared mujahideen leaders with the founding fathers of the US. Shehbaz Sharif said this was based on fake news.
Imran Khan said mujahideen leaders were considered heroes by the United States in past. (AP)
Published on Sep 26, 2021 10:28 PM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Pakistan's opposition politicians have slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for saying at the United Nations General Assembly that in 1983, United States President Ronald Reagan had invited mujahideen to the White House and compared them to the 'founding fathers of the United States'. The speech went viral on social media as many termed this fake news. Imran Khan, in his speech, also mentioned that this is "according to some reports".

Here is what Imran Khan said: "Pakistan and the United States trained mujahideen groups to fight for the liberation of Afghanistan. Amongst those mujahideen groups was al Qaeda, various groups from all over the world. There were mujahideen, Afghan mujahideen. These were considered heroes. President Ronald Reagan invited them to the White House in 1983. And according to a news item, he compared them to the founding fathers of the United States. They were heroes," Imran Khan said.

PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif said that the video puts all doubts to rest that Imran Khan always trusted fake news over facts. "The embarrassing gaffe about President Reagan's remarks on Afghan Mujahideen has cemented his incompetence and shows his ignorance," Shehbaz Sharif wrote on Twitter.

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Maryam Nawaz Sharif commented that Imran Khan, instead of his speechwriter, should be fired.

Human rights activist Saleem Javed claimed that Imran Khan misquoted Reagan and came up with something fake. He also posted a video which he claimed to be the original one where President Ronald Reagan praised mujahideen commander Abdul Haq and later mentioned the phrase "moral equal of our founding fathers" in the context of Nicaraguan rebels.

 

The point that Imran Khan wanted to hammer home was that Pakistan suffered the most, after Afghanistan, because of the volatile situation in the country. In his speech, he also said Pashtuns are Taliban-sympathisers and as Pakistan has a huge Pashtun population, the country is facing attacks from inside the country as well.

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