Imran Khan has not offered proof that the United States overthrew his government, and the Pakistani opposition has been pushing for a no-confidence vote for months.
In Islamabad, a complete positional switch is happening as I write: Parliamentarians of the erstwhile ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party are leaving due to their government’s recent defeat in a vote of no-confidence, and the unified opposition is now the country’s new administration.
The party and Imran Khan, its leader and until recently the country’s prime minister, insist that what occurred was not merely a loss of majority due to some lawmakers switching sides. They assert that an American attempt to overthrow the Imran Khan regime was what motivated this betrayal.
A careful examination demonstrates that no publicly accessible evidence supports Imran Khan’s theory.
The Narrative of Imran Khan
Imran Khan claims that the Americans overthrew his administration because he would not postpone a trip to Moscow in late February. The visit occurred on February 24, when Russia began its brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Imran Khan and his foreign minister would emphasize that the trip was preplanned and that the timing of the invasion was merely fortuitous. Additionally, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the American national security advisor called Islamabad and requested that the visit be postponed.
Imran Khan resisted changing or delaying his ideas. The visit went as planned, and Khan even presented a wreath at the Moscow location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as Russian troops entered Ukraine.
He later asserted that the Americans were enraged by this adherence to an independent foreign policy and plotted to overthrow the Islamabad administration in favor of one that was more amenable to their demands.
It was claimed that some Pakistani parliamentarians had been meeting with Americans and had been bought off to overthrow Imran Khan’s administration. On March 8, Pakistan’s united opposition moved a resolution of no confidence against the administration, but the ruling party was the majority at the time.
Then, on March 30, several lawmakers from the ruling coalition abruptly defected to the opposition, yanking Khan’s majority from beneath him. The remainder of the tale is widely known: the PTI government ultimately lost the vote of no confidence after an unhealthy mix of procedural and legal theatrics. Khan resigned as prime leader of Pakistan, but he never stopped blaming the Americans for the disaster as a whole.
The conspiracy appears to be chronologically and logically cohesive on the surface. When we examine each component more closely, danger begins to arise.
What Imran Khan Niazi’s References Support the Story?
There is no evidence—not even records or images of wire transfers—that the U.S.U.S.dministration and Pakistani politicians conspired to remove Imran Khan from office. I will thus concentrate on recent statements that the concerned politicians made in their speeches and interviews in Urdu because there isn’t anything more substantial than a fictitious story.
Imran Khan’s intention to travel to Moscow was made public in the press at least as early as February 7. It is reasonable to believe that because the Americans were publicly warning of an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine at the time, they were aware that both the attack and Khan’s visit were about to happen.
Due to the negative diplomatic implications, the Americans likely asked Khan to postpone his visit at such a contentious moment (which it did, indeed, create).
The absence of any proof of such a phone call is the first minor issue. The American side and Moeed Yusuf, the national security adviser for Pakistan who is said to have received the call, have not corroborated this assertion. Yusuf recently submitted his resignation. However, such a phone call might not even have occurred, so, for argument, let’s pretend it did and was kept private.
As was previously noted, the vote of no confidence was introduced on March 8 following the trip to Moscow. The betrayal of the lawmakers happened on March 30; the final vote occurred on the evening of April 9. As a result, it would have been theoretically conceivable for Americans to buy off confident lawmakers during this time. But there is a significant gap in the evidence supporting Imran Khan’s conspiracy theory.
Why hasn’t any evidence been presented, given that he claims there is proof of links between American and Pakistani politicians? Let’s assume that no action can be taken without a solid legal argument.
Imran Khan has been attempting to create a judicial panel to establish the plot. However, the decision to build it was made soon before his administration was defeated in the no-confidence vote. So let’s presume that there is evidence that courts and commissions are waiting to review.
What other proof does Khan mention? There was only one more, a specific letter on which he concentrated more than other features but kept a secret. On March 27, he claimed that a foreign plot was being developed to overthrow his government during an address at a rally.
He continued by saying that the Pakistani administration had received “a written warning.” He said the letter he held up in front of the crowd was proof of the plot against him. He did not reveal its contents to the public or provide a thorough explanation of the nature of the paper.
Despite promises to reveal the letter, Imran Khan never did; eventually, he claimed it was encrypted and would show the code used by Pakistan’s services.
Imran Khan, was America eligible for such a scheme?
Khan seems to imply that if Washington does not like Pakistan’s foreign policy, it has the power to install a new administration in Islamabad. But a short examination of the facts reveals that this is just a short-term fantasy.
For more than ten years, the United States has been quite unhappy with some facets of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Islamabad backed the Taliban while pretending to support the U.S.U.ffort to combat the Taliban has undoubtedly incensed the American leadership.
Although this has been known for years, the Americans somehow refrained from trying to overthrow the Islamabad administration or were unsuccessful.
Even after the Afghan Taliban overthrew the Afghan government in 2021 with Pakistan’s help, Washington could not destroy the Islamabad administration.
In addition, Washington must have been very angry with Islamabad when it learned that Osama bin Laden was living in safety in Pakistan (and when he was murdered in 2011), undoubtedly far more so than when Imran Khan visited Moscow in 2022. Even so, it did not lead to the overthrow of Pakistan’s government.
The Americans are probably not powerful enough to accomplish this in Pakistan, whereas the Pakistani army cannot be considered so.