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US Reaction to Imran Khan Cases Confirms 'Deceitfulness'

© 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, 07.06.2024
Following a long and difficult legal fight, a Pakistani court acquitted former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday on charges related to his handling of a confidential intelligence cable, known within the Pakistani government as a cipher.
Pakistan's political observer reacted on US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller's statement about former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Miller told that the politician's legal case and its merits had nothing to do with the United States.
During a briefing earlier this week, a journalist asked the US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller about Imran Khan and his legal cases. Miller responded by saying that the legal case and its merits were none of the United States business.

"We’ve addressed the question of Imran Khan many times," Miller said. "The legal proceedings against him are something for the Pakistani courts to decide."

Lies and Deceits

In this light, Islamabad-based retired three-star military official in Pakistan's Armed Forces and political observer, Hassan Zulfikar, told Sputnik India that this indifferent reaction is "deceitful".
According to Zulfikar, the US State Department encouraged Pakistan's government in March 2022 to depose the Prime Minister over his neutrality on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and his independent stance aimed at fostering relations with all the countries.

"The US State Department makes it sound like they have no interest, no role in Khan’s legal woes and it is an internal matter of Pakistani courts, but they are lying. All these cases that he is facing have been orchestrated with their help in the first place, and they are aware of everything that is happening with Khan. But now that the judges have refused to be coerced and have gone public, I see a positive direction for Khan’s eventual release," Zulfikar said.

In April 2022 just one month after the meeting with US officials documented in the leaked Pakistani government document (cipher), a no-confidence vote was held in Pakistan's Parliament, leading to Khan’s removal from power.

"This vote had been organized with the backing of Pakistan’s military who was under pressure from the US. Since then, Khan and his supporters have been imprisoned, denied justice and PTI was in disarray, but it must be noted that even then the PTI won the majority of votes in February's general elections," the former official stated.

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 opposition PPP and PML-N parties. PTI supporters and leaders responded by alleging that a US-backed lobby and parties stole the people's mandates.

US Continues to Meddle in Internal Affairs

Meanwhile, the diplomatic cipher revealed the various methods the State Department deployed in its push against Khan, promising warmer relations if the politician was discharged from office, and isolation of Pakistan if he was not.
The cipher included an account of the meeting between State Department officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Asad Majeed Khan, who at the time was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.
Lu undertook a three-nation visit to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in May this year.
At the time, Dr Anant Bhagwat, the founder-president of Global Strategic Policy Foundation Pune (GSPFP), a national security and foreign policy think tank, told Sputnik India that Lu is a hated figure in India due to his interference attempts in Indian democracy.

"Last year, he entertained Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi at the White House. The Biden administration clearly doesn't want a strong and stable government which espouses an independent foreign policy, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done in the last 10 years. However, Lu's visit is too little and too late," Bhagwat had said.

The State Department has conveniently remained mute on the crackdown on democracy in Pakistan amid attempts at interference in political processes in India and Bangladesh.

However, as pointed out by Zulfikar, "The charges against Khan have now almost all fallen apart, and this recent decision by the High Court regarding the cipher case further bolsters Khan's supporters’ position that the charges against the imprisoned former prime minister are indeed politically motivated."

Khan's Victory

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court's Monday acquittal is a major victory for former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his supporters, as he was facing a long prison sentence for allegedly revealing state secrets through this cipher.
The former PM had repeatedly denied these charges and claimed that he was a victim of political targeting. Just a few weeks before the ruling, another separate corruption case against him related to the selling of state gifts was suspended.
Now the ruling leaves Khan behind bars on just one charge: namely, that he and his third wife Bushra Bibi entered into an "un-Islamic marriage" – a charge for which both are serving seven-year sentences. Lawyers from his PTI party claim that this allegation is false and baseless, but Khan and his wife remain imprisoned in Adiala Jail.
Indian army soldiers patrol at the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan border in Poonch, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) from Jammu, India, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2020.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.04.2024
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