Pakistan: Former PM Imran Khan demands dismissal of US official over 'bad manners'

PTI Chairman claims Donald Lu threatened consequences for Pakistan if no-confidence vote against him failed


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Published: Wed 25 May 2022, 8:38 AM

In line with his “foreign conspiracy” claim, Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman, Imran Khan, on Monday called for the dismissal of US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, Donald Lu for his “sheer arrogance and bad manners”.

The PTI Chairman accused Lu of threatening Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed, that a failure to remove Khan through a no-confidence vote would herald “consequences” for Pakistan and vice versa, Dawn reported citing Khan’s interview with an American television show.

Khan also claimed that before the no-confidence motion, the threat was made and then, it subsequently started a chain of events that resulted in his ouster and the conspirators joining to launch their conspiracy.

“Imagine telling the ambassador of a country of 220 million people that you get rid of your Prime Minister,” he said in the interview.

The PTI chairman said he had placed the cypher -- containing details of the meeting between Lu and Pakistan’s ambassador -- before his cabinet which was later presented in a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), according to Dawn.

Referring to Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s stance on Pak-US relations the former PM said, “I had a perfectly good relationship with the Trump administration. It’s only when the Biden administration came, that it coincided with what was happening in Afghanistan and for some reason -- which I still don’t know -- they never got in touch with me.”

Anderson said the US had “rubbished” the notion that it was involved in a regime change in Pakistan and asked Imran if he “genuinely” believed his claim of there being a foreign conspiracy to topple his government, reported Dawn.

Khan responded that the US embassy was calling and meeting disgruntled PTI members even before the meeting between Lu and Pakistan’s then-ambassador to the US. “What were they meeting [US officials] for? They were the first ones to jump ship and they were the ones who then offered million dollars each to buy my other MNAs who jumped ship later on.

“Why would the US embassy be interested in our party backbenchers?” Khan asked.

Referring to his visit to Russia coinciding with the announcement of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the former PM said, “They didn’t but let me explain to you. This visit was planned a long time back and all stakeholders in Pakistan were onboard. The military wanted Russian hardware, we wanted oil, there was a gas pipeline which was being negotiated for the past six years before my government came in ... how would I have known that the day I land in Moscow, President [Vladimir] Putin would decide to go into Ukraine?”


Pressed on whether he regretted the trip, Imran said he would have regretted it if he had known about the attack beforehand and still chosen to go ahead. “I do not believe in military solutions. I have opposed all military ways of achieving political ends but I wasn’t supposed to know [that Russia would announce war].”

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