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  • 24 Feb, 2024

Did the US have a hidden hand in the overthrow of Imran Khan?

Despite pressure on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), party chairman and jailed former prime minister Imran Khan is expected to contest the February 8 general election, his party has confirmed.

In May 2023, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at the Islamabad High Court on corruption charges.

However, charges were later filed against him, including terrorism, disclosure of state secrets (the Cypher case), propaganda of violence, and involvement in the Toshakan incident. His recent not-guilty pleas in the Cypher and Toshakana cases have on the one hand complicated his case and on the other hand, ensured his ability to contest the upcoming general elections in Pakistan. His conviction in the Toshakhana case led to a five-year ban from general elections. As a result, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended his sentence for three years. However, he remains detained in connection with other ongoing cases.

The secret diplomatic cable, called the cipher, contains details of a meeting between US State Department officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lew, and Pakistani Ambassador Assad Majid Khan. last year. However, after he was ousted, Imran Khan claimed that his ouster was the result of a foreign conspiracy specifically targeting the United States.

Will Imran Khan contest the 2024 general elections? Despite the Islamabad High Court ruling allowing Imran Khan to contest the 2024 general elections and accepting his candidature, the Election Commission of Pakistan refused to accept the nomination.

According to Imran Khan's legal team, this refusal violates the court order and its orders. Will Imran Khan contest the 2024 general elections?

Despite the Islamabad High Court ruling allowing Imran Khan to contest the 2024 general election and accepting his candidature, the Election Commission of Pakistan refused to accept the nomination. According to Imran Khan's legal team, this refusal violates the court order and its orders.

Imran Khan's legal team is actively working to secure his release on bail despite numerous legal hurdles and challenge the ban on campaigning for his political party ahead of the February 8 election. But while many lawsuits against him have been filed since his resignation, Seifer's case concerns diplomatic ties between Washington and Islamabad, which former Pakistani prime minister Khan alleged last year were part of a plot against the US government.

The arrests relate to an encryption case under the Official Secrets Act, in which Qureshi and Khan were accused of revealing diplomatic encryption during a meeting. The crackdown on PTI, its workers, and candidates in Pakistan is seen as an attempt to restrict the participation of PTI leader Imran Khan and its candidates in the upcoming 2024 elections. In this regard, political analyst and former three-star officer of the Pakistani army Hasan Zulfiqar told Sputnik: "The military authorities have decided to exclude Imran Khan at any cost. This also means compromised justice. It has shown that it cannot face the army. So it's up to you to draw your conclusions."

Likewise, Dr. "I don't expect anything to change in this case, given that the court is not functioning according to the law," Rashid, a political thinker and expert, told Sputnik. The army and agencies seem to be doing their best to find Imran Khan guilty one way or the other.

doctor. Tughral Yameen, a professional researcher and fellow at the Islamabad Institute of Politics, former director of the International Center for Peace and Stability, and a former Brigadier General and political analyst of the Pakistan Army told Sputnik: ex. His political future will be decided by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The influential leader's failure to contest the polls will affect PTI's performance in the February 8 elections next year.”

"The political environment in Pakistan is working as usual," the political analyst and analyst told Sputnik. Prime ministers were jailed or executed, leaders were suspended, and there was the persecution of one party and action against another. Late. This is not a new experience for us. We got used to it. "Political history is full of such situations," he said.

Harassment of PTI workers

Since the beginning of the May 9 or 9/5 riots, many PTI workers, leaders, journalists, and political activists have been arrested and detained. On 9 May 2023, a series of violent incidents took place in Pakistan, known as the 9 May Riots or the 5 September Riots. This development followed the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan from the High Court building in Islamabad. Protests organized by PTI supporters turned violent and caused extensive damage to government and military installations.

According to media reports, since the announcement of the upcoming general elections in 2024, there has been a new wave of confiscations and crackdowns on election nomination files of PTI political leaders, arrests, and targeting of residents by political activists. A week ago, a petition was filed in court seeking the withdrawal of PTI's electoral symbol (Bat) for the upcoming general elections. But the Peshawar High Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal and allowed the PTI to use the bat as an election symbol. In this context, Dr. “Relations have been strained due to Khan's constant criticism of Pakistan's political parties and establishment,” Yameen said. Because of his direct approach, his actions did not satisfy any political party."

US intervention in Pakistani politics

Past political and historical records show that no prime minister in the country's history has served a full five-year term as stipulated in the Constitution. Sardar Azim Afrasiab, executive director of the Trio Bar Association, writer, lawyer, political scientist, and lawyer, told Sputnik: "Foreign intervention is constantly presented as an antagonist in this ongoing drama. Every tweet criticizing the United States is seen as evidence of a grand conspiracy, and every IMF tough stance is seen as a veiled threat. "But if your house is on fire, remember to call the fire department instead of blaming the neighborhood dogs for barking because of the smoke."

He continued: “Foreign influence is the same as in other countries. An important approach is to treat it effectively instead of treating it as a symbol of victimization. Therefore, it is time to unite against foreign interference in our territory. "This is a matter of national sovereignty."

"On March 6, 2022, an important meeting was held between Pakistan's Ambassador Asad Majid Khan and US Secretary of State Donald Lew," Khan told the media. During the meeting, a code containing a secret message was received from the ambassadors. According to the report, Donald Lu informed the Pakistani ambassador that there would be consequences for Pakistan if Prime Minister Khan was not removed by a vote of no confidence. "This issue has come up as a major issue when discussing other issues," he said.

"A no-confidence motion is likely to be raised in the National Assembly of Pakistan the next day," Khan said. There were earlier reports that the US Embassy met with our lawmakers and supporters, demonstrating a high level of engagement. Interestingly, some of the first people to visit the US Embassy expressed their support for this proposal. "The series of events baffled me as I tried to understand why the United States opposed such an agreement."

Addressing workers at a political rally, Imran Khan repeated his claim that his rivals are colluding with the United States to oust him because of his foreign policy decisions, which often rely on China and Russia. it depended and the United States was blamed

In this regard, former Human Rights Minister and PTI leader Shireen Mazari informed the Pakistani parliament about a purported memo by a US official which claimed that if Khan were not in power, "all would be forgiven". He questioned the basis of such forgiveness, asking, “What is forgiveness for? "What are our sins?" - He spoke with sadness at the National Assembly.

Journalist, activist, and broadcaster Imran Riaz Khan, who disappeared and returned after four months, earlier told the media: “Pakistan is being manipulated, undermined, and transformed by its political system and government. of foreign powers in collaboration with Pakistani institutions. "I refuse to submit to puppets and a corrupt system."

However, the US State Department has denied meddling in Pakistan's domestic politics. "There is no truth to these claims," ​​State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said.

However, Khan called on workers and supporters, especially the youth who have been a key part of his base since taking office in 2018, to protest. He urged them to defend the country's sovereignty and resist American influence. "This is your duty," said Prime Minister Imran Khan, stressing the need to protect the future of the people, democracy, sovereignty and independence.