Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has warned Pakistan government that further measures against former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan would be harmful.
Khalilzad on Wednesday once again expressed his concern about the current political situation in Pakistan and warned from taking extreme measures against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In a series of tweets, Khalilzad noted, “There are indications that Pakistan’s parliament, which is controlled by the governing coalition, might ask the Supreme Court to disqualify Imran Khan from running for election and even prohibit PTI in the next few days.”
Khalilzad said, “The government appears to have decided to set up Imran Khan as enemy number one of the State. Such steps will only deepen Pakistan’s political, economic, and security crises. Already, some countries have suspended planned investments”, he said.
He further warned Pakistani politicians that amid political chaos, political polarization, and violence, intends to punish PTI may worsen the current situation in the country.
“The IMF support remains doubtful. If the steps mentioned occur, international support for Pakistan will decline further. Political polarization and violence will likely increase.”
He advised Pakistan’s political leaders to consider the country’s national interest while asking Supreme Court to prevent the destructive petty politics that are detrimental to the country’s interests.
“I hope the Pakistani political leaders rise above destructive petty politics that undermine the national interest. If not, I hope the Supreme Court says no to being used in games that undermine the nation’s interests. I am becoming increasingly concerned about Pakistan, he added.
Imran Khan was removed from office through a no-confidence vote last April. Khan claimed that the US “threatened” him and sought his removal from office while the opposition parties and current coalition government accused him of bad governance and economic incompetence.
Meanwhile, the Information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement that Khalilzad was acting at the PTI’s behest, “The origin of American conspiracy and the imported regime has come to light,” she said, referring to the PTI’s claims of the vote of no-confidence against Imran Khan arising out of an “American conspiracy” that he has used to describe the incumbent government as an “imported regime.”
Imran Khan, the chairman of the PTI, said on Sunday that the party would have a power show at the exact location where he began his 2013 election campaign: Minar-i-Pakistan.
On March 22, the event would take place, and it would serve as a “referendum” on where the country stood, he continued.