FULL DISCLOSURE: Sourced from Russian State-Controlled Media
MOSCOW, April 6, 2022, RUSSTRAT Institute.
There was an attempted coup in Pakistan and the removal of Prime Minister Imran Khan from power. It was held using “apparatus techniques”. The ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf party of Pakistan has lost the support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement party, a key coalition partner, and thereby actually lost its majority in parliament, which allowed the procedure of expressing no confidence in the prime minister to begin.
Khan, who came to power in 2018, was accused of failing to improve the economic situation in the country, as well as to fight corruption. This action was broadcast live on all Pakistani TV channels. The session of the Parliament was led by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri. But he said that holding a vote would be contrary to the fifth article of the Constitution of Pakistan, and therefore cannot be held.
After that, a break in the work of the parliament was announced, and then it was dissolved. President of Pakistan Arif Alvi stated that Khan, in accordance with article 224 A (4) of the Basic Law, remains Prime Minister until the appointment of an interim Prime Minister. A parliamentary election is to be held in the country within 90 days.
This course of events was predetermined by a number of proactive measures taken by both Imran Khan himself and his associates in the government. The day before, a diplomatic mail leak was organized in the Pakistani media, where the Pakistani ambassador to the United States reported to Islamabad about the warning of the State Department: Khan must resign, or the Americans will “leave” him with the help of the tamed opposition. In addition, the country’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry reported on an impending plot to assassinate the prime minister.
According to Chaudhry, a “letter from America” was received on March 7, which said that “we will spare Pakistan if Khan leaves,” otherwise Pakistan “will have to face the consequences”. The Prime Minister showed this message to the members of his cabinet at an urgently convened meeting, the further course of events for the Cabinet of Ministers was no longer a secret. Khan himself accused Washington of “plotting” and outlined its reasons. “I am not anti-American or anti-Indian,” he said. “But I criticized the Western wrong policy… I have always wanted to pursue an independent foreign policy.”
Khan advocated for the development of cooperation with China (especially within the framework of the China-Pakistan economic corridor) and Russia, which causes rejection among Americans. The Pakistani Prime Minister criticises the European Union for trying to force Islamabad to vote for an anti-Russian resolution at the UN. Speaking to the citizens of the country, the head of government said that 22 Western countries were pressing the authorities to join the resolution condemning Russia’s actions at the UN.
He refused to condemn Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, noting that his country “has friendly ties with the United States, Russia, China and the European Union and is not going to join any camp”. As can be seen from the report of the Pakistani newspaper “Dawn”, the United States put direct pressure on the prime minister when he was going to Moscow, demanding to cancel the visit. American officials met with Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States and stated that Islamabad’s future relations with Washington depend on whether Khan will be removed from power during a vote in parliament.
Nevertheless, the visit to Moscow took place. Khan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, the day of the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. According to official reports, the leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine, regional problems and relations between the two countries.
Now the failed coup in Islamabad was pre-empted by the Pakistani intelligence services supporting the government, but also, judging by indirect signs, by the efforts of Chinese intelligence. But this has led so far to an intermediate denouement. A serious political battle awaits Khan next.
His political opponent, the Chief of the General Staff of the Pakistani Army, Qamar Javed Bajwa, supports Ukraine and insists that Pakistan distance itself from Russia. Two clans and two parties, which until recently alternately ruled the country, are acting against the government – the Pakistan Muslim League (Freemason/al Qaeda), led by people from the Sharif family, some of whom have settled in London today and are supported by British intelligence, and the Pakistan People’s Party, which is under the patronage of the Bhutto family.
In order to survive in this fight, Khan needs to make the most of his political resources and not stray from his chosen foreign policy course: to maintain cooperation with China and Russia, to activate the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and break through to BRICS . Plus, to normalize relations with India. This is the only way Islamabad can be “on the rise”, which the United States and Great Britain do not like.
Khan has a chance of success. Recently, the Khaleej magazine published in the UAE printed survey data, according to which the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis consider Khan the best prime minister in the last 15 years. He is significantly ahead of his opponents and political opponents in popularity.
At the same time, Pakistan found itself in a state of another political crisis. Before the parliamentary election, the main political forces of the country will build complex political combinations, join various alliances, and seek support from important external players.
However, Khan is a professional athlete who captained the Pakistan national cricket team from 1982 to 1992 and in the same 1992 made Pakistan a world cricket champion, the only time in history. Will he have enough athletic skills to continue the fight against the “fronde”ing security forces who are intimidating the country with another military coup, will he be able to develop a competent strategy for balancing between the United States and China?
Formally, the army is kept out of politics. But there are signs that the generals are dissatisfied with the head of government, and the outcome of the elections is difficult to predict.
Elena Panina, Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute