Pakistan was in bed with Taliban: Mahmud Ali Durrani

Washington, Nov 3 : Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Mahmud Ali Durrani has conceded that "Pakistan was in bed with the Taliban when they were governing Afghanistan, but for an excellent reason.

"We always supported the government in Kabul, irrespective of who it was. But that’s history now. We gave that up after 9/11, when we made a 180-degree switch because we found that was in our interest," Durrani further said.

The interview took place at what the journal calls "Pakistan’s $17 million embassy on International Drive."

Pakistan has "almost licked" al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks but everything changed after the US invaded Iraq, reviving al Qaeda, he told The Washington Diplomat, a publication focused on the diplomatic corps based here.

Durrani said global pledges made to Afghanistan had not been honoured, warning, "If you don’t give them an alternative way of life, they will kill. This is the only thing they know."

There was also a growing nexus between al Qaeda and international drug barons.

He said as ambassador he had no problems with the administration or the public, but he had one with the media, which is getting the Pakistan story wrong.

Durrani accused the mainstream US media of "getting the story all wrong" when it comes to Pakistan’s efforts to root out terrorism and Islamic extremism.

He defended his country on the Daniel Pearl and Mukhtar Mai cases, the Daily Times reported.

He explained, "Danny Pearl goes to meet the bad guys and gets in trouble. Tomorrow night, walk into some bad neighborhood of DC, and you’re also likely to get in trouble … One rape in Pakistan?

There are more unreported rapes in the United States than the total number of rapes in Pakistan. If it happens in a village following some stupid custom, then people perceive that it’s happening all over the country, Durrani said.

About US unpopularity in Pakistan, he said: "If today, you have a crowd of 1,000 people chanting anti-American slogans and somebody offers to give out US visas, 900 would definitely accept, if not all of them. Pakistani people like American values and the American system." (ANI)