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Pakistan: Imran Khan stands by his US conspiracy theory for ouster, claims NSC supports his claim

The National Security Committee (NSC) concluded on Friday that no foreign conspiracy was hatched against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Khan

PTI | Updated on: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 08:17 PM IST

Former Pakistans prime minister Imran Khan (C) gestures during a press conference in Islamabad on April 23, 2022.  | (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP)
Former Pakistans prime minister Imran Khan (C) gestures during a press conference in Islamabad on April 23, 2022. | (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP)
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Islamabad: Imran Khan on Saturday stood by his theory that there was a US conspiracy behind his unceremonious ouster as Pakistan's prime minister and claimed that the National Security Committee's meeting under the new government and its latest statement has proved his point.

The National Security Committee (NSC), during a high-level meeting with new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair to discuss the alleged "threat letter", concluded on Friday that no foreign conspiracy was hatched against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Khan.

Khan, however, quoted the NSC to strengthen his claim, Geo News reported.

Addressing his first press conference after his exit, he said that the NSC meeting endorsed that the cable was genuine and that Pakistan's former ambassador to the US held a meeting with American official Donald Lu, where the latter used undiplomatic language.

"I will go a step forward and say that he (Donald Lu) was arrogant. the Joe Biden administration official told our ambassador that Imran Khan will have to be removed through a no-confidence motion," he said, adding that the meeting took place before the no-trust motion was filed.

The PTI chairman said that the US official told Pakistan's ambassador that everything would be forgiven for Islamabad if he was removed from office.

He said that after Lu's meeting with the Pakistani envoy, the PTI allies started "realising" that the country's situation was not ideal and that the then-government needed to be removed from power. The US has categorically denied Imran's claims.

On Friday, a senior US State Department official said the US has been saying all along that there is "absolutely no truth to those rumors, so we welcome this statement." "And I would also like to underscore that the United States values our longstanding cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as critical to U.S. interests," Principal Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter said in response to a question at a briefing in Washington.

This has also been confirmed, after the new NSC statement, that the political heads and some of our allies were unaware that they were part of a foreign conspiracy, Khan said.

Khan alleged that the person sitting in London -- Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, his brother Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari were all part of it.

"They were all hand-in-hand in this conspiracy," he alleged.

Meanwhile, Khan appealed to the Supreme Court to investigate the US cable and hold an open hearing.

"It (Supreme Court) should do now what it did not do earlier -- probe the cable. even former president General Pervez Musharraf decided to follow the instructions just because of a threat. Therefore, it is imperative that the court probe this cable," Khan said.

Khan said once the apex court investigates the US cable, it will come to light that then-Opposition leaders and PTI members met foreign diplomats often, in the days up to the no-confidence motion.

The former prime minister further said that he was surprised that the top court was not hearing the case on an urgent basis.

According to experts, Khan, who was ousted from power on April 10 after the National Assembly passed a no-confidence motion against him, had apparently lost support of the Army after he refused to endorse the appointment of the ISI spy agency chief last year. Finally, he agreed but it soured his ties with the Army.

The Pakistan Army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

Khan, 69, is the only Pakistani prime minister to be ousted in a no-confidence motion in Parliament.

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Published on: Saturday, April 23, 2022, 08:17 PM IST