Pakistan still has 30,000-40,000 terrorists: PM Imran Khan

    Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan listens while meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US, July 22, 2019. Reuters

    Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said about “30,000 to 40,000” terrorists who had trained and fought in “some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir” are in his country.

    At an event in the US on Tuesday, Imran said before his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government came into power, previous governments did not have the political will to act against terror groups operating in the country, reports NDTV.

    “Until we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because when you talk about militant groups, we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed people who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir,” said the Pakistani prime minister.

    “There was a watershed in Pakistani politics. In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 150 schoolchildren at Army Public School. All the political parties signed the National Action Plan and we all decided after that, that we will not allow any militant groups to operate inside Pakistan,” he said at the US Institute of Peace.

    He said his government was the first to start disarming terror groups. “This is the first time it’s happening. We’ve taken over their institutes, their seminaries. We have administrators there,” he added.

    Imran Khan’s startling admission on having terrorists reinforces India’s assertion about terror attacks by groups operating from Pakistani soil.

    At another event, Imran Khan also said “40 different militant groups” were operating from Pakistan.

    Past governments, particularly in the last 15 years, were not in control and did not tell the US about the exact “truth on the ground,” he said.

    The Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician was speaking at a reception hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus.