A nation’s leader just wanting his nation to stay neutral regarding a war undertaken against another nation by the United States government can set in motion a US government effort to boot that leader from office. A previously secret Pakistan government document disclosed in a Wednesday in-depth The Intercept article suggests that such a removal effort is just what the US government successfully accomplished in Pakistan in the early days of the Ukraine War.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had been steadfast in supporting keeping his country out of the Ukraine War in which the United States and other nations have been using the Ukraine government and military as a proxy to fight against Russia. An indication of Khan’s approach to the matter is provided in this relating in The Intercept article of comments he made on March 6, 2022 — the day before the meeting between US and Pakistan officials detailed in the newly revealed Pakistan cable:
The day before the meeting, Khan addressed a rally and responded directly to European calls that Pakistan rally behind Ukraine. “Are we your slaves?” Khan thundered to the crowd. “What do you think of us? That we are your slaves and that we will do whatever you ask of us?” he asked. “We are friends of Russia, and we are also friends of the United States. We are friends of China and Europe. We are not part of any alliance.”
That type of foreign policy approach is as American as apple pie or George Washington. But, its expression by a foreign government leader to justify opting out of supporting US empire is sure to bring contemporary American uber-interventionists to rage.
The US interventionists got their way. The Intercept article relates:
One month after the meeting with U.S. officials documented in the leaked Pakistani government document, a no-confidence vote was held in Parliament, leading to Khan’s removal from power. The vote is believed to have been organized with the backing of Pakistan’s powerful military. Since that time, Khan and his supporters have been engaged in a struggle with the military and its civilian allies, whom Khan claims engineered his removal from power at the request of the U.S.
And Khan’s expressed policy of keeping his country free of Ukraine War involvement and international alliances has gone by the wayside in Pakistan foreign policy:
Pakistan’s foreign policy has changed significantly since Khan’s removal, with Pakistan tilting more clearly toward the U.S. and European side in the Ukraine conflict. Abandoning its posture of neutrality, Pakistan has now emerged as a supplier of arms to the Ukrainian military; images of Pakistan-produced shells and ammunition regularly turn up on battlefield footage. In an interview earlier this year, a European Union official confirmed Pakistani military backing to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s foreign minister traveled to Pakistan this July in a visit widely presumed to be about military cooperation, but publicly described as focusing on trade, education, and environmental issues.
This realignment toward the U.S. has appeared to provide dividends to the Pakistani military. On August 3, a Pakistani newspaper reported that Parliament had approved the signing of a defense pact with the U.S. covering “joint exercises, operations, training, basing and equipment.” The agreement was intended to replace a previous 15-year deal between the two countries that expired in 2020.
But that’s not all. This month, Khan was imprisoned in Pakistan and barred from holding office for the next five years.
Another win for USA.