Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that Pakistan’s decision to join the US-led war on terror was the biggest blunder in the country’s history. He addressed an event at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think tank in New York on Monday. Answering a question regarding former US Defense Secretary James Mattis’ remark that he considered Pakistan to be “the most dangerous” among all countries he had dealt with, Prime Minister Imran said: “I do not think James Mattis fully understands why Pakistan became radicalized. He explained, “In the 1980s, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan, helped by the United States, organized the resistance to the Soviets. And the resistance was organized by the Pakistani ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) training these militants who were invited from all over the Muslim world to do jihad against the Soviet Union.” “And so we created these militant groups to fight the Soviets. […] Jihadis were heroes then. Come 1989, Soviets leave Afghanistan, the US packs up and leaves Afghanistan […] and we were left with these groups,” he added. “Then comes 9/11, and Pakistan again joins the US in the war on terror and now we are required to go after these groups as terrorists. They were indoctrinated that fighting foreign occupation in jihad but now when the US arrived in Afghanistan, it was supposed to be terrorism. So Pakistan took a real battering in this,” he said, adding that Pakistan should have stayed neutral in the conflict.” “Pakistan by joining the US after 9/11 committed one of the biggest blunders,” he said, noting that 70,000 Pakistanis had died in the ensuing violence and the country lost hundreds of billions in the economy. “I think the Pakistani government should not have pledged what they could not deliver.” Furthermore, the premier said he had always stressed that there could be no military solution in Afghanistan. On the future of Pakistan’s troubled relationship with India, Prime Minister Imran said he had approached Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the start of his term to revamp the bilateral ties and to erect the relationship on mutual trust.