ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Former Prime Minister Imran Khan once again has pointed finger at the United States for his downfall, according to sources, reclaiming that Washington had orchestrated his ouster.
In April, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, where the opposition parties brought a motion against him for bad governance and economic mismanagement.
Khan’s remark came in an exclusive interview with CNN, which was his first with an international news organization since his defeat in a vote of no-confidence last month.
Speaking with the journalist, Khan called for a huge rally to protest his downfall on Wednesday, exclaiming he would still run for the office at the next election due in October 2023.
“Whenever the next elections take place, not only will we run, but I can predict that this will be the biggest party in Pakistan’s history, because people are so incensed and feel insulted that these criminals have been foisted upon us,” Khan told CNN, referring to Pakistan’s new government.
Khan has repeatedly claimed that Donald Lu, the Assistant Secretary for the US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, had met with Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington in March and told him that Khan should be dismissed from power in the confidence vote, as CNN wrote.
Lu threatened “Pakistan will suffer consequences” unless Khan was removed from power, he said on Monday interview, acknowledging his official visit to Russia in late February, coinciding with the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had likely rankled American officials.
When asked to provide evidence for his claims, Khan said there were note takers on both the US and Pakistani sides at the meeting, but did not answer directly when asked whether he would make any notes publicly available.
However, the US government has repeatedly denied involvement in Khan’s ouster, saying the allegations are not true.
“There is no truth to these allegations,” a US State Department spokesperson told CNN, having previously and repeatedly denied involvement in Khan’s ouster.
Khan announced on Sunday that he would lead his supporter on a long rally from the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the capital Islamabad on Wednesday, which is more than 200 kilometers away.
Early last month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, where the opposition parties brought a motion against him for bad governance and economic mismanagement.
The vote took place after the country’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of opposition parties and said that Khan had acted unconstitutionally.
Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif – who now is the Prime Minister – said Pakistan and its parliament were “finally freed from a serious crisis”, adding in a tweet: “Congratulations to the Pakistani nation on a new dawn.”
Sharif who is a long-time rival of Khan and brother of former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be able to hold power until October 2023, when the next election is due to be held.