How and Why the US Dictatorship Overthrew Pakistan’s Democracy
On August 9th, Ryan Grim and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept headlined “Secret Pakistan Cable Documents U.S. Pressure to Remove Imran Khan” and sub-headed “‘All will be forgiven,’ said a U.S. diplomat, if the no-confidence vote against Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan succeeds.” Here are highlights from their news-report:
THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT encouraged the Pakistani government in a March 7, 2022, meeting to remove Imran Khan as prime minister over his neutrality on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a classified Pakistani government document obtained by The Intercept.
The meeting, between the Pakistani ambassador to the United States and two State Department officials, has been the subject of intense scrutiny, controversy, and speculation in Pakistan over the past year and a half, as supporters of Khan and his military and civilian opponents jockeyed for power. The political struggle escalated on August 5 when Khan was sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges and taken into custody for the second time since his ouster. Khan’s defenders dismiss the charges as baseless. The sentence also blocks Khan, Pakistan’s most popular politician, from contesting elections expected in Pakistan later this year.
One month after the meeting with U.S. officials documented in the leaked Pakistani government document, a no-confidence vote was held in Parliament, leading to Khan’s removal from power. The vote is believed to have been organized with the backing of Pakistan’s powerful military. Since that time, Khan and his supporters have been engaged in a struggle with the military and its civilian allies, whom Khan claims engineered his removal from power at the request of the U.S.
The text of the Pakistani cable, produced from the meeting by the ambassador and transmitted to Pakistan, has not previously been published. The cable, known internally as a “cypher,” reveals both the carrots and the sticks that the State Department deployed in its push against Khan, promising warmer relations if Khan was removed, and isolation if he was not. …
In the cable, the U.S. objects to Khan’s foreign policy on the Ukraine war. Those positions were quickly reversed after his removal, which was followed, as promised in the meeting, by a warming between the U.S. and Pakistan.
The diplomatic meeting came two weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which launched as Khan was en route to Moscow, a visit that infuriated Washington.
On March 2, just days before the meeting, Lu had been questioned at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing over the neutrality of India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan in the Ukraine conflict. In response to a question from Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., about a recent decision by Pakistan to abstain from a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s role in the conflict, Lu said, “Prime Minister Khan has recently visited Moscow, and so I think we are trying to figure out how to engage specifically with the Prime Minister following that decision.” Van Hollen appeared to be indignant that officials from the State Department were not in communication with Khan about the issue.
The day before the meeting, Khan addressed a rally and responded directly to European calls that Pakistan rally behind Ukraine. “Are we your slaves?” Khan thundered to the crowd. “What do you think of us? …” …
In the meeting, according to the document, Lu spoke in forthright terms about Washington’s displeasure with Pakistan’s stance in the conflict. The document quotes Lu saying that “people here and in Europe are quite concerned about why Pakistan is taking such an aggressively neutral position (on Ukraine), if such a position is even possible. It does not seem such a neutral stand to us.” …
Lu then bluntly raises the issue of a no-confidence vote: “I think if the no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister succeeds, all will be forgiven in Washington because the Russia visit is being looked at as a decision by the Prime Minister,” Lu said. …
The day after the meeting, on March 8, Khan’s opponents in Parliament moved forward with a key procedural step toward the no-confidence vote.
“Khan’s fate wasn’t sealed at the time that this meeting took place, but it was tenuous,” said Arif Rafiq, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute and specialist on Pakistan. “What you have here is the Biden administration sending a message to the people that they saw as Pakistan’s real rulers, signaling to them that things will better if he is removed from power.”
The Intercept then presented the complete till-now-hidden document.
The answer to Imran Khan’s “‘Are we your slaves?’ Khan thundered to the crowd. ‘What do you think of us?’” is now clear. The U.S. regime views Pakistanis to be its slaves. The behind-the-scenes rulers of Pakistan made clear that their answer to that question is yes. Unless a revolution will now result in Pakistan, that is what Pakistanis will be. And, clearly, such a revolution would restore Imran Khan as Pakistan’s leader. And Imran Khan would then become free to act against the foreign dictatorship that had forced him out of power to represent the interests of Pakistanis instead of that dictatorial foreign power, and against the domestic stooge-leaders who had adhered to the instructions from that foreign dictatorship — the enemies of the Pakistani people.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.
Eric Zuesse blogs at https://theduran.com/author/eric-zuesse/.