US Allegedly Sought Imran Khan’s Removal as Pakistan PM Following Russia Visit: The Intercept Report

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US Allegedly Sought Imran Khan’s Removal as Pakistan PM Following Russia Visit: The Intercept Report

Introduction: In a recent revelation by The Intercept, a US-based news outlet, a secret diplomatic "cypher" has come to light, suggesting that the U

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Introduction:

In a recent revelation by The Intercept, a US-based news outlet, a secret diplomatic “cypher” has come to light,
suggesting that the United States administration may have aimed to remove former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan
from power after his visit to Russia. The alleged communication sheds light on the dynamics between the US and Pakistan,
raising questions about the extent of foreign influence in Pakistani politics.

Imran Khan’s Controversial Exit:

Imran Khan, who was removed from power in April 2022 following a parliamentary no-confidence vote, has maintained that
the US orchestrated his downfall in collaboration with his political rivals and the Pakistani military. Khan’s claims
are based on his knowledge of the “cypher,” which he asserts proves a conspiracy against him.

The Intercept’s Revelation:

The Intercept’s report centers around a conversation dated March 7, 2022, between Pakistan’s then-ambassador to the US,
Asad Majeed, and Donald Lu, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. The
conversation occurred shortly after Khan’s visit to Moscow on February 24, coinciding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

US Concerns and Alleged Influence:

During the conversation, Lu expressed concerns over Khan’s visit to Russia and Pakistan’s perceived stance of “aggressively
neutral position” regarding the Ukraine conflict. Lu purportedly conveyed that if a successful no-confidence vote were
to remove Khan from office, Washington would be forgiving, as Khan’s Russia visit could be viewed as a decision by the
Prime Minister. However, if the vote failed, challenges could arise.

US Denies Interference:

The US State Department’s spokesperson, Matthew Miller, has refuted the allegations of US interference in Pakistan’s
internal matters. While acknowledging concerns about Khan’s Russia visit, Miller emphasized that the US did not express
any preference for Pakistan’s leadership. The US stance remains consistent in disavowing involvement in Pakistan’s domestic
politics.

Reactions and Implications:

Khan’s reaction to The Intercept’s report has been marked by his assertion that the contents of the “cypher” align with
his claims of foreign interference. He brought the matter to Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC), where it was
unanimously agreed that the alleged interference was unacceptable. Both Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and
the subsequent Shehbaz Sharif-led government affirmed the NSC’s stance.

Conclusion:

The Intercept’s report on the alleged “cypher” has rekindled discussions about the role of foreign nations in influencing
domestic politics. While the US denies interfering, the controversy underscores the delicate balance between international
relations and national sovereignty. Imran Khan’s removal from power and the subsequent revelations continue to fuel
debates about the authenticity of such claims and the broader implications for Pakistan’s political landscape.

 

 

 

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