Leaked Pakistan Secret Cable: U.S Urged Imran Khan’s Removal

Web DeskAugust 10, 2023
Leaked Pakistan Secret Cable: U.S Urged Imran Khan’s Removal

The U.S. State Department, during a meeting on March 7, 2022, reportedly encouraged the Pakistani government to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan from power due to his perceived neutrality on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This information was obtained from a classified Pakistani government document by The Intercept. The meeting, which took place between the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. and two State Department officials, has generated significant controversy and speculation in Pakistan over the past 18 months, as various political factions vied for influence.

The U.S. officials expressed dissatisfaction with Khan’s stance on the Ukraine crisis, stating that it did not seem as neutral as claimed. The U.S. warned that if Khan remained in office, Pakistan could face isolation by Western allies, particularly Europe and the United States. The U.S. officials suggested that if a no-confidence vote were to succeed in removing Khan from power, the U.S. would view it favorably.

Read more : “United as One: Overseas Pakistanis Rally Behind Imran Khan, Pledging Unwavering Support

One month after this meeting, a no-confidence vote was held in Pakistan’s Parliament, leading to Khan’s removal from office. Khan and his supporters have since been engaged in a struggle with the military and its civilian allies. Khan has alleged that his removal was orchestrated at the request of the U.S. government.

The leaked document, labeled “Secret,” contains an account of the meeting and includes comments from Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu. Lu’s statements implied that Khan’s removal would result in improved relations between Pakistan and the U.S.

While the U.S. State Department denied taking a position on Pakistan’s leadership, the leaked cable suggests a more nuanced involvement in Pakistani politics. The cable also discusses concerns about the impact of the Ukraine crisis on Pakistan’s relations with Russia and the broader region.

In the months following the meeting, Pakistan’s foreign policy shifted, showing greater alignment with Western nations and a departure from its earlier stance of neutrality in the Ukraine conflict. This realignment has led to increased military cooperation between Pakistan and the U.S., including defense agreements.

The leaked cable has fueled debates within Pakistan regarding the role of foreign powers in its internal affairs and the extent to which Khan’s removal was influenced by external pressures. The Intercept’s release of the full cable provides additional context and insight into the interactions between the U.S. State Department and the Pakistani government.

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