Imran Khan says his defiance of US policy led to his overthrow
The former Pakistani Prime Minister accuses the US of orchestrating a plot against his nation that ultimately resulted in the overthrow of his democratically-elected government.
Pakistan's most popular politician and former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, accused the West of adopting double standards in an exclusive interview for Newsweek that was published on Saturday. He said his defiance of the US policy was what led to the overthrow of his government and consequently his expulsion from office the previous year.
The former Prime Minister said the Americans disapproved of his independent foreign policy and visit to Russia, which gave domestic political forces in the nation the opportunity to influence Washington and depict him as a US foe.
The US “wanted us, through the United Nations, to condemn Russia,” said Khan, who explained that his government had arranged an agreement to import “cheap oil” and wheat from Moscow.
“If we condemn them right now, what about the impact it’s going to have on our population?”
Khan added that, after a meeting in early March of 2022 between Pakistani and US diplomats, he was informed that unless he was removed as prime minister, there would be “consequences".
“Next day, there’s the no-confidence motion tables in the National Assembly,” Khan said. “And before that, we see that the American Embassy is meeting our parliamentarians, our backbenchers.” He added that he was “puzzled” as to why the US would “object to a deal.”
He further stated that he had written documentation attesting to the fact that the United States was orchestrating a "conspiracy" to overthrow him in a regime change.
"The US came into it thinking as I’m someone anti-American," he said, adding that for some reason, "if you don’t agree with the US foreign policy, you turn anti-American."
After being removed from office last April as a result of a vote of no-confidence in parliament, Khan, who promotes what he calls his own brand of non-aligned policy in foreign affairs, is primarily restricted to his mansion in Lahore.
Despite the fact that he has been charged with a number of offenses since Shahbaz Sharif took over as Pakistan's Prime Minister, he has been spared from prison.
Various offenses, including murder and terrorism, have been brought against him.
He has consistently defended his innocence and asserted that the Sharif administration and the nation's powerful armed forces are engaged in a coordinated effort to delegitimize him by dismantling his party and preventing the PTI from participating in the next elections in October.
Khan claimed that in order to defend their illegitimate dismissal from office, General Asim Munir and former Army Chief Qamar Javad Bajwa claimed that he was "dangerous".
"He claimed I was dangerous for Pakistan. And they gave some other reasons, too."
The future of Democracy in Pakistan was Khan's main concern, as he put it.
"I’m not really that worried about my own fate, because that’s secondary. The main thing is the future of Pakistan, which is what I’m worried about. Because I really fear now that this path which we are being taken on, there is nothing but darkness ahead. Because, apart from anything else, our whole democracy is being dismantled."