Pakistan is in the middle of a constitutional crisis, which makes the country’s bad relationship with the United States very clear.
Afterward, a group of opposition parties started a vote of no confidence in Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan. Khan said that threats had been made against his government by people “outside.” He said that a memo that documented the minutes of a meeting between Pakistan’s former ambassador in Washington, D.C., and U.S. diplomats revealed a “foreign conspiracy” that warned of consequences if the vote didn’t remove Mr. Khan. He said that the opposition had worked with the U.S. government to get rid of him, and that the U.S. government had helped them do it. They say there is “no truth” to them.
On April 3, a deputy speaker from Mr. Khan’s party said that the foreign interference Mr. Khan said would make the vote illegal. When President Arif Alvi refused to dissolve the National Assembly, Mr. Khan told him to. Even though the country’s constitution says that if a vote of no-confidence has been proposed against the prime minister but hasn’t been voted on, he can’t ask for the National Assembly to be dissolved. However, on April 7, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that the deputy speaker had broken the law when he spiked the vote, which Mr. Khan will have to deal with again on Saturday.
Strangely, though, the government doesn’t seem to have even looked into these claims of a conspiracy. Mr. Khan said that Pakistan has been trying to work with the United States, but official statements from the government show that Pakistan has only been trying to work with the US.
Mr. Khan didn’t mention a conspiracy in his March advice to Pakistan’s newly appointed ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan. Khan is said to have met with Pakistan’s civil and military leaders before moving to Washington later that month. Rather, at a meeting that took place at least a week after the alleged memo was sent to the Foreign Office, the Prime Minister told the ambassador-designate that “Pakistan-U.S. relations are based on partnership” and urged him to strengthen bilateral relations, “especially for trade, investment, and public diplomacy.”
Three members of Congress in the United States have asked the Attorney General to look into claims that the new ambassador has ties to terrorist and Islamist groups.
There had been some recent hope that there could be a two-way relationship. In 2018, David Hale left his job as U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. In October, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Donald Blome to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. People say that the U.S. didn’t want to fill the vacancy intentionally, but it’s still interesting that Pakistan hasn’t had an ambassador in Islamabad for three years now.
After the Senate approved Mr. Blome, the State Department said that “partnership with Pakistan is critical to progress on regional security, trade and investment, the climate crisis, and human rights.” This shows that the State Department wants to work with Pakistan on a wide range of issues, including climate change, which is a huge problem for the resource-constrained country.
But now, Mr. Khan’s unsubstantiated claims that the U.S. tried to destabilise his government are putting a strain on a relationship that both sides seem to be interested in rekindling. These efforts had already been slowed down by Pakistan’s refusal to host military bases for U.S. counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan in 2021, and by Khan’s visit to the Kremlin on the same day that Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
BELOW THE ADS, THE STORY GOES ON.
In spite of what the Supreme Court has said, Mr. Khan’s memo about an alleged foreign conspiracy still needs to be shown to make sure it’s real. The leaders of the opposition parties that Mr. Khan has accused of working with foreign governments must also go to court to clear their names, as well. If they are found guilty, they will be able to see the evidence that backs them up.
Otherwise, it would be impossible to judge the credibility of the claims about the memo, or Mr. Khan’s reasons for writing it. If you live in Pakistan, you should think about how embattled leader Imran Khan might have used this to make people afraid of the United States so that he could win votes at the polls, Even more disturbing is that he may have put all Pakistanis’ economic and social prospects at risk by doing so.