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.
Little more than a century ago, British and Indian archaeologists began excavating the remains of what they soon realized was a previously unknown civilization in the Indus Valley. Straddling parts of Pakistan and India and reaching into Afghanistan, the culture these explorers unearthed had existed at the same time as those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and covered a much larger area. It was also astonishingly advanced: sophisticated and complex, boasting large, carefully laid out cities, a relatively affluent population, writing, plumbing and baths, wide trade connections, and even standardized weights and measures.
Last week, Beijing hosted the first-ever tripartite security dialogue between Iran, Pakistan, and China. The gathering took place against the backdrop of recent border skirmishes between Iran and Afghanistan, and the Taliban government’s reluctance to crack down on militant groups operating within its borders. While Pakistani officials insist that the dialogue is intended to address local security issues and not act as an “an Afghan affairs watchdog” to fill the void left by the 2021 US troop withdrawal, geopolitical analysts say the talks will shape a new regional security and trade paradigm involving China, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
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.
During the first year of the Obama administration, I spent months in the summer and fall of 2009 reporting about the Pakistani nuclear arsenal from here in Washington; from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital; from New Delhi, the Indian capital; and from London, where Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan as well a former army chief was living in exile. The story I eventually published in the New Yorker was edited slightly in accordance with a White House request that I did not contest. The issues then and today are the same: Pakistan is a nuclear-armed nation. So is India, its rival, an on-and-off ally of both Russia and America that rarely, if ever, discusses its own nuclear capability.
The US government organized a conference of its allies which it misleadingly called a “Summit for Democracy”, but which actually featured numerous anti-democratic, far-right regimes. The State Department invited 120 global leaders to participate in the summit on March 29 and 30. They did so virtually, via video calls. Several of the heads of state who spoke represent governments that even Western officials, corporate media outlets, and mainstream human rights organizations have admitted are authoritarian, including Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Andrzej Duda of Poland, and Narendra Modi of India.
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.
Almost all of Pakistan awoke to darkness on the morning of Monday, January 23, as the country experienced its second major power outage in four months. Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan announced that “unusual voltage and frequency fluctuation” had caused a widespread breakdown in the national grid. The outage was caused by a disruption in the power generation units, which the government was shutting down at night when the demand for electricity was relatively lower, as an “economic measure” amid a looming energy shortage. The fallout from the outage was dramatic—affecting not only water supply systems and hospitals, but also economic activities. Shahid Sattar, the secretary general of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, told AFP that 90% of factories had shut down on Monday, causing an estimated loss of $70 million.
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.