Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday gave a strange answer when asked about the steps taken by his government to ensure that his country's military operates under its civilian leadership.
"What are some of the concrete steps your government is taking to ensure that the military operates under civilian leadership?" Khan was asked at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington.
USIP's President Nancy Lindborg posed the question to Khan on behalf of an unidentified Twitter user.
"In Pakistan, we had three martial laws. The last one was General Pervez Musharraf's. I think General Musharraf's martial law was a watershed in Pakistan in the sense that there was an opinion across the board that when you have bad democracy, the answer is not to have a military government. Because the military government comes in, it's like curing cancer with disprin," Khan said in response, not quite answering the question.
"For while you feel good because they are organised, it's an organised institution, but eventually you end up in a worse situation because democracy starts all over again. What we need in Pakistan right now is an extended run of democracy. I really do believe that the democratic evolution of the country has reached a point where now we will go towards further democracy...Nowhere in the world does a third party breakthrough. We broke through because of social media and young people," he added.
During the same event, Khan admitted to having 30,000 to 40,000 armed militants in Pakistan "who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir."
He further said that previous Pakistani governments lacked the political will to disarm militants operating within their borders.
"We are the first government that has started disarming militant groups. This is the first time it's happening," he stated.
During a separate event, the Pakistani Prime Minister also said that they had 40 different militant groups operating within its borders. He also claimed that previous governments were not in control and had not told US about the exact "truth on the ground."
Khan reached the United States for a three-day visit on July 21.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)