Pakistani Parliament Ouster Against Imran Khan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Pakistani Parliament Ouster Against Imran Khan

On 10 April 2022, America succeeded in toppling Imran Khan and his government after she had instructed the Supreme Court of Pakistan to issue a decree on Thursday 7 April nullifying all the instructions of President Arif Alvi to dissolve parliament and declare early elections, as per the recommendations of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

After parliament had passed a vote of no-confidence, Imran Khan announced in a deceiving tweet, in which he harnessed the concept of conspiracy, that, “Pakistan became an independent state in 1947; but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change.” This tweet was a follow-up to what Imran Khan announced when the Pakistani opposition were attempting to oust him the fist time; he said during a speech aired by Pakistani television on 31 March 2022, “I will fight until the end and I will defeat these conspiracies,” he added, “People suggested me to resign but I will play till last ball. I will not resign. I will play till the last ball.” This is what the collaborators usually do when they lose the backing of their foreign sponsors to the advantage of their opponents and their partners in treason.

America mobilised the opposition against Imran Khan whom she accused of economic maladministration despite the support he had received from her through the IMF and the World Bank. She also accused him of failing to control rising inflation and the deterioration of the Pakistani Rupee, in addition to his mismanagement of foreign policy. Imran Khan retorted by claiming that the challenge his government had been facing was instigated by an American conspiracy and the collaboration of the opposition with foreign interference, and by calling the masses, especially the youth, to protest the conspiracy and stage nationwide marches.

In fact, America has been working on exacerbating the Pakistani domestic political situation in order to screen and probe Pakistani public opinion vis-à-vis the politicians by hounding the opposition to topple the prime minister who had taken a catalogue of standpoints and policies that invoked America’s wrath and infuriated the military institution affiliated to her, such as his relationship with Russia and China, who had warned of a potential coup in Pakistan. During his televised speech on 31 March 2022 ,Imran Khan implied that a “Western state”, meaning America, was backing his ouster because he had visited Russia and met President Vladimir Putin last month; he then declared his alignment behind Russia and stressed that Pakistan’s foreign policy should be independent and not hostile towards any nation. This does not mean that he became independent, or he intends to become independent, but he merely felt his sell-by date had expired, and thus he merely wanted to demonise his opponents and plant landmines in their path.

Amidst this political tension in the country, an army spokesperson announced on behalf of the Pakistani armed forces that “the army has no bearings on the current political events”; this was a few hours before the dissolution of parliament and the government on 3 April 2022. However Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa slammed the Russian war on Ukraine a day before and called for an immediate end to the “great tragedy” suffered by a smaller country. America for her part hastened to deny the allegations of Imran Khan, stressed her neutrality vis-à-vis the Pakistani political forces and reiterated her eagerness to maintain the Pakistani political approach and its conformity to her interests.

Although the spokesperson of the Pakistani army claimed impartiality in the political battle taking place between Imran Khan and the opposition, the statement of the army chief however revealed that Imran’s standpoints did not please America, and thus Pakistan’s standpoint should not be neutral in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Hence, Imran Khan’s visit to Russia on the same day Putin declared war on Ukraine was a political banana skin irrespective of whether the visit was with the blessing of America or not; therefore, Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa stated in the same speech that Pakistan should be in the Western camp, "We share a long history of excellent and strategic relationship with the United States, which remains our largest export market," he said, adding that European Union, United Kingdom, Gulf, South East Asia, and Japan were also vital for Pakistan’s national development. This makes the Pakistani opposition an American choice at this stage, without nevertheless forsaking Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in which she has been investing since 1999 via Imran Khan, and which represents a major popular force in tribal areas, and especially as Chief of Staff Qamar Javed contradicted Imran Khan who stated that Pakistan had made a mistake by aligning herself with the West during the Cold War. He also openly criticised Western diplomats in Islamabad who, in the previous month, requested in a joint letter from his government to condemn Moscow’s aggression against Kiev; he retorted by saying, “What do you think of us? Are we your slaves...that whatever you say, we will do?"

As for the relationship with China, Imran Khan expressed to the Washington Post in September 2021 his aversion to offering the US air bases in Pakistan; he also expressed his refusal to enter any alliance hostile to China. This was when foreign troops in Afghanistan were about to complete their withdrawal. In June, Imran Khan was quoted as saying “Absolutely not. There is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. Absolutely not.” As a result, America instructed the UAE to request the return of its $1billion deposited with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), at a time when the government of Imran Khan was facing a deep financial crisis. Pakistan had to also borrow $1billion from China to pay back a loan to Saudi.

The US pressure on Pakistan was also induced by Sino-Pakistani rapprochement in isolation of the American coordination through which America has been attempting to delay China’s economic accomplishment before blackmailing her, especially in respect of the investments pertinent to the Sino-Pakistani economic passageway, such as building railways and expanding the seaport of Gwadar, which is deemed a major seaport for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in addition to the arms deals with the Pakistani army. China harnessed America’s need for the seaport of Gwadar as a passageway for Turkmenistan gas in which US energy firm Chevron Corporation had invested, and Pakistan’s desperate need for development in the absence of financial revenues, and strengthened her influence in the Indian Ocean by harnessing the strategic seaport of Gwadar as a vantage point to monitor the Strait of Hormuz, which is the operations site of the United States Fifth Fleet headquartered in Bahrain, and also to monitor India’s Western Naval Command on the western coastline; this obviously clashes with America’s strategy pertaining to containing China and besieging her in the Indian Ocean.

What evokes America’s concern most is that China has recently become the main arms and military equipment supplier of the Pakistani army, and has even eclipsed America. The share of Chinese weapons in the Pakistani army has risen from 13% to 41%, in addition to China’s full support for the Pakistani nuclear programme. Imran Khan stated clearly and in contradiction to US policy in Pakistan, during his televised speech in August 2021: “We are lucky because we have a friend who stood by us through thick and thin. None of our other friends stood by us like China who supported us politically and defended us in all fronts.” He added that Pakistan was facing tremendous pressure to normalise her relationship with "Israel".

Accordingly, and despite his services to the US, Imran Khan failed to read the changes in US policy towards Russia and China, and failed to take into account that the collaborator’s affiliation to world powers is useless during political crises, especially according to the logic of interests which does not recognise any permanent friend, and in the presence of rivals in treason. Hence, despite all the standpoints he took and his close rapprochement with China and Russia, Pakistan remains under US custodianship because the Pakistani military commanders are still slaves and have not unfettered themselves from their collaboration with America. This is why it was plain sailing for America to mobilise the opposition with the backing of the army and the Supreme Court to topple Imran Khan and his government despite the popular support he had mustered due to the unambiguous American conspiracy to remove him.

Hence, the new prime minister and president of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Shahbaz Sharif hastened to corroborate his loyalty to America by saying, “Our relations with Britain and America have experienced ups and downs, and we will work to improve our relations with both countries.” He also addressed India by saying, “We want peace, but that is not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue.” And this in fact is in line with the United States’ plan to mobilise the countries of the region against China and Russia in preparation for containing them and compelling them to submit to the American will in this century.

15 Ramadhan 1443h
16 April 2022