Secret Pakistani arms sales to the U.S. helped to facilitate a controversial bailout from the International Monetary Fund earlier this year, according to two sources with knowledge of the arrangement, with confirmation from internal Pakistani and American government documents. The arms sales were made for the purpose of supplying the Ukrainian military — marking Pakistani involvement in a conflict it had faced U.S. pressure to take sides on. The revelation is a window into the kind of behind-the-scenes maneuvering between financial and political elites that rarely is exposed to the public, even as the public pays the price.
An empire doesn’t like those who are unwilling to serve its purpose. Since the invasion of Ukraine, the White House made it crystal clear that the nations who denounce or won’t support its “unprecedented and expansive” sanctions against Russia, will have to pay a heavy price. The world already witnessed Washington’s removal of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who refused to sing the same tune along with the Empire to wage a war against Russia by visiting Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine. He refused to be a slave of the Western powers and shouted out loud, “What do you think of us? Are we your slaves… that whatever you say, we will do?”
American writer and political commentator Daniel Patrick Welch says there was never any serious doubt that the United States was behind the toppling of the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Pakistan in April 2022. He added the United States will stop at nothing to maintain its global hegemony, as actions in other theaters show. Welch made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Press TV website on Thursday, August 10, a day after The Intercept published a classified document, revealing Washington pushed for the removal of Khan from office over his neutrality on the Ukraine war.
Given the large population in the U.K. of Pakistani origin, the lack of serious media coverage of the overthrow and incarceration of Imran Khan, and the mass imprisonment of his supporters, is truly extraordinary. Imran Khan was last week sentenced to three years in prison — and a five-year ban from politics — for alleged embezzlement of official gifts. This follows his removal as prime minister in a C.I.A.-engineered coup, and a vicious campaign of violence and imprisonment against Khan and his supporters. It is currently illegal in Pakistan to publish or broadcast about Khan or the thousands of new political prisoners incarcerated in appalling conditions.
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was sentenced to three years in jail on 5 August by a court in Islamabad on charges of illegally selling state gifts. The popular opposition leader was promptly arrested from his home in Lahore after the court handed down the sentence. The court also disqualified him from politics for five years, banning his political activities. Before being taken into custody, Khan released a video on social media saying his arrest was “expected” and calling on his supporters to protest peacefully. “When you receive this message, I will be arrested, and I will be in prison,” said Khan. “I only have one request, one appeal for you. You must not sit quietly inside your homes.
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to build a “Naya Pakistan” – a New Pakistan. He hoped to break with decades of internal misrule and gross corruption and offer a hopeful future for the world’s fifth-most populous country, of nearly 248 million people. Khan’s vision also meant a New Pakistan that ended its external dependencies and subordinate relationship with Washington, which could only be described as neo-colonial. Khan’s period in power came at a bad time, especially because of the Covid-19 crisis, and his own rule did at times reflect a lack of political acumen and an inability to implement all of the social welfare policies to which he was genuinely dedicated.
The post-modern coup that removed former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (IK) from office last April as punishment for his multipolar foreign policy catalyzed cascading crises across the economic, judicial, political, and security spheres that have shaken this South Asian state to its core. The US-backed regime that was installed in his place refuses to hold free and fair elections as early as possible since they know they’d lose after the former premier’s PTI party won multiple by-elections over the past year. During that same time, the post-modern coup regime viciously cracked down on society by abducting dissidents and censoring the media out of desperation to retain power.
Massive protests broke out across Pakistan on May 9, Tuesday, after the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. On Wednesday, a court sent the leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) into eight days of detention with the National Accountability Bureau. A separate judge also indicted him in a case relating to unlawful selling of state gifts [known as the Toshakhana case]. Protesters set fire to buildings in various parts of the country. There have been reports of deaths during the protests though the exact toll is not clear yet. The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that three people had been killed in the city of Peshawar. Other reports mentioned four deaths in various cities.
If 2022 was the year of popular uprisings in Pakistan, raising hope for protesters fed up with a thoroughly corrupt and repressive civil-military regime, 2023 seems to be the year when the government is trying every dirty trick in the book to kill that hope. After a US-backed regime-change operation removed elected Prime Minister Imran Khan from power in April 2022, Pakistan witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon in the nation’s history: For the first time, a civilian politician who was ousted from power didn’t simply end up in the dustbin of history, alongside interchangeable corrupt politicians who for decades played musical chairs, competing to plunder the country.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was overthrown in April 2022 in a soft coup supported by the United States. Khan argued that he was targeted due to his independent foreign policy, comparing his ouster to the CIA coup in Iran in 1953. Since leaving office, Khan has held massive protests across the country, blasting the unelected coup regime for surrendering its sovereignty to Washington. “The US has made Pakistan a slave without having to invade it,” Khan fumed. “The people of Pakistan will never accept the imported government.” Khan has also become a leading voice on the international stage calling for the rebirth of the Non-Aligned Movement. He argues that Pakistan should have been non-aligned in the first cold war. And he insists his country must be independent today in the new, second cold war between the US on one side and China and Russia on the other.
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister likened the US-backed parliamentary coup that removed him from power in April 2022 to the violent CIA operation that overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. The CIA-organized coup “was a very similar pattern followed in when my government was dismissed,” Khan said. He likewise praised Iran’s independence today, stating that Western sanctions means that “the people of Iran might have suffered, but they haven’t lost their dignity.” Khan added that, while Pakistan and Iran may have some differences, “you cannot disagree with them standing for their sovereignty. So I admire that about them.”
Pakistanis have been out on the streets protesting in the millions over the past few months. Even though the country has been afflicted by the horrific floods, the political momentum for radical change has not abated. An assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Imran Khan this November has brought matters to a tipping point. Today, Khan’s popularity as a political leader and public figure is at its peak – a fact even his detractors will concede. And this is precisely what has got him into trouble. Khan was ousted in a regime-change operation at the beginning of April. We can now conclusively say that the group responsible for the ouster included virtually the entire corrupt feudal-dynastic political class, the chief of army staff and some of his cohorts in the military high command, and of course the godfather overseeing it all: the United States.
Pakistan’s elected Prime Minister Imran Khan was overthrown in a US-backed regime-change operation due to his independent foreign policy. Now the coup regime has charged him with “terrorism.” Pakistani scholar Junaid S. Ahmad discusses the desperate attempt to crush the mass movement and protests that Khan has led.
Imran Khan, a former cricket star who went into politics and became Prime Minister of Pakistan, had been ousted by bribing and threatening politicians of his coalition to turn against him. Khan had developed good relations with China and Russia and was against allowing the U.S. military to use Pakistan as a base for attacks in Afghanistan. The new Pakistani government under Shehbaz Sharif has turned out to follow opposite policies. But it is increasingly unpopular. Imran Khan has used his popularity to raise a public ruckus against the ruling elite and the military and judicial forces behind it. He and his PTI party have good chances to win in the next election. U.S. media reporting about Khan is thus conflicted.
It is an unsavory proposition always, be it in India or Pakistan, when political power is usurped by fly-by-night operators who engineer defections from a ruling party, and an established government gets overthrown despite its mandate to govern. In India — so far, at least — such shenanigans leading to regime change at the federal or state level have not been manipulated by foreign powers — except, perhaps, in the ouster of the first communist government in the southern state of Kerala, way back in 1959. In South Asian politics, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives have been chronic cases where foreign interference in their domestic politics has become endemic. But they are either small countries or weak states, vulnerable to external pressure.