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US rubbishes Imran's charge of 'foreign conspiracy' to oust him

By Lalit K Jha
April 01, 2022 10:25 IST
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The United States State Department on Thursday firmly rejected the allegations made by Pakistan's embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding Washington's role in an alleged "foreign conspiracy" to oust him from power.

IMAGE: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses nation in a televised speech on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Photograph: ANI Photo/PTV

"The United States," Khan said in what appeared to be a slip of tongue and then alleged that a "foreign country" had sent a "threatening memo" which was against Pakistan.

On Wednesday, Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government confirmed that its allegation about a foreign conspiracy was based on a diplomatic cable received from one of the country's missions abroad.

"The letter stated that the no-confidence motion was being tabled even before it was filed, which means the Opposition was in contact with them," Khan alleged in his address to the nation.

"There is no truth to these allegations," a State Department spokesperson said soon after Khan made the allegations in a live televised speech from Islamabad on Thursday.

 

At a massive public meeting held on Sunday in Islamabad, Khan had pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and waved it at the crowd, claiming it was evidence of an “international conspiracy” being hatched to topple his government.

Khan, 69, said the memo was against him, not against the government. "...it stated that if the no-confidence motion passes, Pakistan will be forgiven, if not, there will be consequences."

He stated that it was an "official letter" that was communicated to Pakistan's ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting. The premier said the envoy was told that if Imran Khan remains in power, Pakistan would face "difficulties".

"I am telling my nation today that this is our status. We are a nation of 220 million and another country -- and they are not giving any reason -- [is issuing threats]. They said that Imran Khan decided to go to Russia on his own even though the Foreign Office and the military leadership was consulted.

"Our ambassador told them that the decision [to visit Russia was made after consultations] but they are denying it and saying that 'it was only because of Imran Khan and that our ties cannot be good if he stays.' What they are actually saying is that they have no issue with the people who will replace Imran Khan."

The US has asserted that it did not send any letter to Pakistan on the current political situation in the country as it sought to refute allegations of America's involvement in the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led government.

Khan met President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on February 24, the day the Russian leader ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine. Khan also became the first Pakistani premier to visit Russia in 23 years after former premier Nawaz Sharif travelled to Moscow in 1999.

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Lalit K Jha
Source: PTI© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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