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US Historical Involvement in Pakistan's Affairs and Imran Khan's Removal

© AP Photo / K.M. ChaudaryPakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, with his wife Bushra Bibi, center, arrive to appear in a court in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, June 26, 2023.
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, with his wife Bushra Bibi, center, arrive to appear in a court in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, June 26, 2023.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.03.2024
Last week, during a congressional hearing, congressional representatives, leading to chants of ‘Liar, supported U.S. Diplomat Donald Lu’s stance on PTI and Imran Khan! Free Imran Khan' was echoed in the conference hall by PTI supporters against Donald Lu. Reports indicated possible involvement in the ousting of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to a classified Pakistani state secret document known as the ‘Cypher’ obtained by the Intercept agency, the American State Department urged the Pakistani government in a meeting on March 7, 2022, to replace Imran Khan as PM owing to his neutral stance on the Ukraine-Russian conflict and independeа nt foreign policy, including the improvement of ties with Russia. In the meantime, the founder of the PTI party and ex-PM of Pakistan is now in jail.
Despite PTI-supported independent candidates winning the majority of seats in Pakistan's general election on February 8, media reports suggest that manipulation of the election results led to victories for the PPP and PML-N parties. PTI supporters and leaders respond by alleging that a US-backed lobby and parties stole the people's mandates.
On the other hand, ex-PM Imran Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), demanded on Monday that the European Union (EU) release its report on the national elections held in Pakistan last month. Khan continues to insist on the flagrant manipulation of the election.

US Involvement in Pakistani politics

South Asian nations, such as Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India, are agog with discourse regarding the extent of American meddling in their domestic and global affairs. However, in this regard, Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan and his PTI supporters have repeatedly claimed that US diplomat Donald Lu influenced and planned the move to remove Khan from his position through a no-confidence vote in April 2022.
Meanwhile, Khan asserted that Lu had intimidated Pakistan's former ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed, by threatening to impose "consequences" on Pakistan if a no-confidence vote failed to remove Imran Khan, and vice versa.
In this regard, Sputnik India spoke to a political expert who shed light on this matter.

"Critical analysis of Pakistan’s national history and especially politics reveals that the USA has been involved in national affairs, and thus politics, economy, governance, and sovereignty have been compromised and compressed. Therefore, US alleged involvement in the removal of Imran Khan is not an isolated phenomenon," Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, an expert, Executive Director at the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) told Sputnik.

Additionally, he expressed, "The cipher controversy has become a controversial and bitter reality in Pakistan, which has been haunting all the stakeholders in the country. In the mad race of political dominance and the absolute discretion of personal obsession, common people have been at the receiving end."

Diplomat Donald Lu in Hot Water

The "cipher" controversy, as it is commonly known in Pakistan, revolves around an alleged diplomatic communication between Washington and Islamabad, which Imran Khan claimed was evidence that his removal as Prime Minister of the country was part of a US conspiracy against him. Despite Khan's allegations, Washington has consistently denied any involvement.

"The US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu's hearing before the state department has once again started an endless blame game in Pakistan’s domestic politics, and ironically, the government as well as the opposition PTI termed it a moral victory," Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan told Sputnik.

He further added, "However, things are not so simple and straight-forward, but rather complex and complicated. It came as a blessing for the newly formed government to further defame and discredit Imran Khan, whose self-centric, self-glorified, and self-gratification human traits and inflexible political style and engagement caused his downfall."
In order to improve relations between Washington and Islamabad again, American diplomat Donald Lu was testifying at a hearing on the alleged election fraud in Pakistan’s election, trying to make everyone believe Washington had nothing to do with the regime change in Pakistan. His testament, however, triggered chants, including “Liar” and “We want Khan!”

"It will not affect Pakistan-US bilateral relations because the US has been caring for its own vested socio-economic, geopolitical, and geostrategic interests. However, the Washington Post revealed in 2016 that the US had tried to change governments in 72 countries during the Cold War, with some of these efforts being successful and others not," expert concluded.

Supporter of former prime minister Imran Khan and political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) attend during an election campaign rally in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.03.2024
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