Captain Imran Khan Clean bowled, South Asian regional stability under threat ? – Telegraph Nepal

With Malice to None

N. P. Upadhyaya (Aryal)

Kathmandu: The high political “midnight” drama staged by the Pakistan’s Opposition-combined against the sitting Prime Minister Imran Khan has come to a dramatic end with the unceremonious or otherwise ouster of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

PM Khan is just a former Cricket Captain who has already been replaced by Shehbaz Sharif.

Perhaps Khan is the first ever Pak Premier to have been ejected through a “calculated” vote of no confidence motion, South Asian observers say.

The Apex Court ruling made on April 7, strictly not only declared “unconstitutional” the ruling made by the Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri but also, very unusually and surprisingly ordered the National Assembly Speaker not only to resume the duties of the NA at the earliest but also instructed that the Assembly must convene by 10:30 AM on Saturday and that the Assembly can’t be “prorogued” prior to the voting of the No Confidence Motion moved against Imran Khan.

Judiciary can go to this extent? Judiciary is just the interpreter of the Constitution but can it also “order” the sovereign Parliament?

The debate should be centered on this issue.

Strikingly, a few months earlier in Nepal, yet another South Asia’s India plagued country, the Supreme Court had ordered almost to approve Sher Bahadur Deuba as the next Prime Minister of Nepal replacing the sitting K. P. Oli.
In our case also, the Judiciary called the shots.

Some even claimed that the “express” orders from the Nepali Apex Court were made to get the US Mega Project Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved by anyone other than Prime Minister KP Oli-the intimate friend of India’s RAW agency Chief Samanta Kumar Goyal.

Indian spy Goyal had “proven” direct access to PM Oli’s private residence in Kathmandu.

The RAW paid the bills of PM Oli’s Kidney impairment.

In a way, the RAW ran the Nepali politics as long as K.P. Oli was Nepal PM.

The same applies to PM Deuba who freshly paid a courtesy call on RAW Chief Goyal in Varanasi prior to his return to Kathmandu from Varanasi-India.

The sum total is whosoever is Nepal Prime Minister, it is the RAW that has called the shots in Nepal since 2006.

Let’s take the Monarchy’s ouster too was an India’s “designed” scheme to keep Nepal under its “permanent” grip through RAW men in Kathmandu’s politics.

This is the general impression in Kathmandu.

What India means for today’s Nepali leaders could be learnt from an event wherein to say goodbye to Indian Ambassador Quatra, the entire Nepali leadership went to see him in person at his private residence April 12, 2022.

Nepal’s total and unconditional submission to India? 

The nation is feeling ashamed looking at the picture that has appeared in the social media wherein “our august India bend leaders” are listening to the sermons of the Indian senior clerk who is shortly leaving to his home country.

Back to the point, others added that since Sher Bahadur is close to the US lobby and thus US administration preferred Deuba for getting the MCC approved.

However, this is yet to be substantiated as some say that simply the US is being blamed by those who apparently were close to the unreliable Chinese lobby in Kathmandu.

Needless to say, in Nepal three foreign alien lobbies are in action: The Indian RAW agency, the Chinese intelligence and the next is the US lobby.

Obviously, these three competing lobbies are trying hard to increase their sphere of influence and secure a space for themselves in Kathmandu’s politics.

Of all, observers say, the Indian agency-the RAW is strong as most of the Nepali leaders and some “vibrant” Nepali media were reportedly under its Payroll.

Finance matters and that too if it is an “under table” one.

While no questions were raised in Nepal of the Parliamentary authority, Pakistani people more so the outgoing Speaker of the National Assembly apparently hinted to the Judiciary that “the Judiciary can’t dictate” its terms and conditions to the sovereign Assembly of Pakistan.

But yet, the Speaker acted as per the instructions of the Apex Court but on moral grounds “resigned” from his post citing that his resignation was linked with the “honor, sovereignty and prestige” of a sovereign Pakistan.

So by early morning Sunday April 10, Imran Khan was no longer the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif is already the New Pakistani Prime Minister who is apparently very close to Beijing.

Notably, Shehbaz Sharif is the younger brother of the London based former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whom a sizable section of the Pakistani population take as an “absconder” who has looted Pakistan during the days of his Prime Minister ship.

As per Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif is a dacoit who has looted his own country and for fear of being penalized by the State has taken refuge in London, United Kingdom.

However, this accusation remains to be substantiated.

With the end of the high drama, Nawaz Sharif is now safe as his own younger brother is the Prime Minister.

Senior Sharif may land in Pakistan soon, let’s hope so.

Now back to Pakistani mysterious drama:

The ousted Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, all along remained vocal in accusing, deliberately or otherwise, the US administration that the entire episode of the “No Confidence Motion” moved against him by the main and the combined Opposition had been orchestrated by the US administration and had been planned duly in Washington in early March last month.

The US strongly denies these accusations hurled by Khan-the driven out PM Of Pakistan.

Talking to pressmen in Washington, Jalina Porter –the deputy State department spokesperson rejected PM Khan’s accusations stating, April 8, 2022, that “let me say bluntly there is no truth to these ( Khan’s) allegations”.

Much ahead of Jalina Porter’s rebuttal, on March 31 (last month) State Department Spokesperson Ned Price had already rejected Khan’s allegations who had said, “When it comes to those allegations (implied Khan’s) there is no truth to them”.

Some Pakistani intellectuals privately told this scribe that with the Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Bajwa’s differing opinions with PM Khan’s foreign policy stances made at the Islamabad Security Dialogue held last week itself spoke many things unspoken and that the intellectuals already guessed that “PM Khan’s days” were numbered.

It is generally believed in Pakistan that to remain in “power”, one necessarily needs the “direct” blessings” of the powerful Army.

Here is a contradiction though to the general impressions on the Army.

The differing opinions of the two “pillars” of Pakistan at least worked in favor of Imran Khan in that Khan was largely by default disseminated as to have not been “selected or elevated” by the Pak Army as was being uninterruptedly accused by the Opposition more so by the cute and immature Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-the next Foreign Minister of Pakistan in the place of S. M. Qureshi.

Or it could also be that Army Chief Bajwa preferred to keep the US in good mood, hinting the US that his institution may not necessarily toe the line acquired of late by PM Khan on US administration.

Army Chief said at the Islamabad Security Dialogue that “Pakistan shares a “long and excellent” strategic relationship with the US but it does not believe in “camp politics” and the country’s bilateral relations with its partners are not at the expense of its relationships with other nations.

Nepali observers say that “a close look at Army Chief Bajwa’s statement mentioned above is rather a ‘balanced’ one.
But isn’t the tilt towards the US? Just a query indeed ?

After all, the US has remained a strong ally of Pakistan and vice versa for all over the Cold War era.

This should mean that Bajwa’s statement is the structured policy of the Pakistani state to be adopted even by PM Sharif.

Yet some others add that the Military was not happy with the appointment of the new Military Intelligence Chief by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

However, both Khans’ party-the PTI and the Military denied this general presumption on the appointment of the intelligence Chief.

Observers in Nepal recall that the all-powerful military institution of Pakistan has ruled the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people for almost half its nearly 76 year-history of existence in South Asia as an independent and sovereign Pakistan.

However, Pakistani population suspects Army’s soft intervention in the ouster of PM Khan.

It could not be so yet.
Most surprisingly, writes the ‘Indian Business Standard’ dated April 10, 2022 that “ according to various media reports, PM Khan had made a botched attempt to replace Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa in order to bring someone more pliant and sympathetic to his idea of foreign conspiracy and thus cling on to power”.

This should mean that S. Sharif will be pliable PM for the Army institution?

If one were to believe the Indian BS, then what is more than clear is that PM Khan and Army Chief sharply differed on the theory of “foreign conspiracy”.

But yet let’s presume that it could be an Indian propaganda as usual.

Interestingly, the Army also said concurrently that “Pakistan does not believe in “camp politics” and the country’s bilateral relations with its partners are not at the expense of its relationships with other nations”.

This account thus should cap all the sharp comments made as regards to the differing opinions on the US by PM Khan and Army Chief.

Let’s not discuss this in detail as it is a matter that has to be dealt with by the Pakistanis and the US.

As an outsider, we should not poke our dirty nose in friend’s political issues.

Nepal as a good friend of the US and of Pakistan also must not intervene in internal matters of Pakistan.

Nevertheless, the events in Pakistan in some way or the other will impact Nepal and entire South Asia for sure.

How this impact comes to us and affects the entire South Asian region should be left to the “time” which will decide the impact of the upheaval in Pakistan to Nepal and the region as stated earlier.

Khan’s allegations on the US for “regime change”:

On 21 June, 2021, in an interview with Axios HBO, Jonathan Swan, Imran Khan categorically stated that he would not allow the US to use Pakistan as a base for its Afghan operations.

Khan used the word “absolutely not” that was perhaps the first reason for the US to get annoyed with PM Khan.

Nepalese intellectuals claim that PM Khan’s ties with the US took a downward slide the next time he talked against the US while talking to a Russian Television network anchored by BOYKO OKSANA on February 22, 2022.

( This news portal had warned PM Khan that he must not have talked so blunt on US).

Khan’s hard hitting annotations aimed at the US may have obviously irritated the latter.

The US irritation was real as could now be assessed.

PM Khan and his foreign affairs lieutenant S.M. Qureshi told the Parliament that “prior to Khan’s departure to Moscow, the US national security advisor Jake Sullivan told his Pakistani counterpart Dr. Moeed Yusuf suggesting the latter to impress upon PM Khan not to proceed towards Moscow.

This is Khan’s allegations to which the US side has offered timely strong rebuttal.

Khan says that how and why he should have avoided a pre-planned visit to Moscow when he didn’t know what was cooking in Moscow for tiny Ukraine?

Then comes the meeting of the Pak envoy in Washington Dr. Asad Majeed Khan with Donald Lu, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs since 2021 on March 7, 2022.

Donald Lu, as per PM Khan impressed upon the Pak envoy to halt the visit of PM Khan to Moscow or face ‘consequences’.

Perhaps he is the same US minister Donald Lu who had stated some time back that if Nepal fails to approve the US MCC project, the US may review its ties with Nepal.

The US denies Imran Khan’s allegations and says that “it is all rubbish”.

The Russian reaction:

However, taking a serious note of the Pakistani disorder, the Russian Foreign Ministry official, Maria ZAKHAROVA at a press briefing dated April 7, 2022, said that “ “the political turmoil in Pakistan has become the new flashpoint in global politics as Russia has alleged that the US is punishing PM Khan for visiting Moscow earlier this February.

On April 5, Russia said that the US was meddling in the internal matters of Pakistan and that PM Khan was paying the price for being disobedient to the US and is being punished for visiting Moscow February 23-25 early this year.

Notably Khan met Vladimir Putin on February 25, 2022 and around the same time “Russian Military Operations began in Ukraine”.

PM Khan may have no inkling (?) as to what was in store for Ukraine from Russia-the enigmatic country as per Sir Winston Churchill.

To be more specific Sir Winston Churchill had defined Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.
Poor PM Khan…..

However, by this time, Russia has already congratulated new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

This is diplomacy.

Lamenting on PM Khan’s unceremonious ouster, Dr. Rizwan Naseer-a strategic security analyst talking to this scribe says, (sic), “a towering politician, a loved Prime Minister and a man of integrity faced no confidence vote, presumably spurred by the US funding”.

Dr. Naseer further says, “The evidence stood valid as the national security committee endorsed it”.

“His sudden ungraceful ouster reflects, the MANTRA of conspiracy was valid. His departure though has ended his tenure as a PM, but a new and reinvigorated move has already set in to regain power with two-thirds majority”, the security analyst concludes.

Let’s presume that Dr. Naseer’s impressions speak also of those who possess love and honor for the now deposed Pakistan Prime Minister Khan.

However, sharp critics of PM Khan differ with Dr. Rizwan.

In a way, the entire Pakistani nation stands polarized: half subscribing to the Khan’s “foreign conspiracy” theory and the other half summarily rejecting the concocted supposition.

Yet veteran Pakistani diplomat Abdul Basit who has had a long stint in New Delhi, Tweeted stating that “Ups and downs are part of politics.

It is to stay focused. Pakistan comes first. Challenges abound. We must all unite, depolarize and cleanse ourselves of intense political toxicity. Let nothing set back us as a nation”.

The Chinese reaction much ahead of Khan’s ouster:

Much the same way, China had ditched King Gyanendra at the time of the Indian engineered political turmoil during 2005-6, unreliable China more or less ditched PM Khan when he needed China most.

Look how China says, “China is committed to non-interference policy,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing while replying to a question about whether Beijing is concerned that any change of leadership in Pakistan could impact its close strategic ties with Pakistan”.

China prefers the Sharif family and has already congratulated new Pakistani Prime Minister.

This is China’s “quiet diplomacy”?

Thus China can’t be an honest partner to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and even Pakistan.

Be aware Pakistan!

The US ire on authoritarian China is valid thus. China can’t be a reliable partner.

The last two hours of PM Khan: The PTI supporter Speaker Asad Qaiser when prolonged the voting against PM Khan, he was, reportedly, told that he may be declared a “traitor” and imprisoned.

Reportedly, the Apex Court sent this spine signals to Qaiser.

The nervous Speaker then in a rare case of solidarity with PM Khan decided to “resign” instead of initiating the Voting process against PM Khan-his political mentor.

# PM Khan was ousted during midnight high drama which saw several “vans” of policemen/military to imprison all those who dilly dallied the voting.

# Eye witnesses said that Military men in uniforms were seen near the premises of the National Assembly which certainly scared the watchers and led them to “think” the unthinkable.

# some even say that PM Khan was coerced by “some” unidentified” persons which terrified the Banigala’s Khan but yet faced the voting which went against him.
# Kunal Gaurav for the Hindustan Times dated April 11, claims that in and around the Haveli ( RED Bunglow) owned by Sheikh Rashid, a huge crowd chanted slogans “Chowkidar Chor Hai” against the Army.

When Rashid intervened the slogans disappeared, adds Kunal Gaurav.

Pindi, Karachi, Peshawar and Dir and many other places are in agitation in support of Imran Khan.

# Khan is touring the length and breadth of the country with his supporters that run in millions and millions supposedly.

Likewise, , UK, Canada, Houston ( USA) and UAE , SA too saw demonstrations in favor of Imran Khan. This has a message.

# Chances remain fair that the ousted PM Khan and some of his key colleagues could be arrested. Some have already been arrested, it is learnt from the Social media.

$ The PTI lawmakers may also resign en masse from the National Assembly. PM Khan and Dr. Shireen Mazari have resigned already.

However, some PTI members are unwilling to resign for unknown reasons.

All these put together, the South Asian region is awaiting seen and unseen troubles in the days and months ahead. India must have been smiling for some special reasons.

A disturbed Pakistan is what prefers India but India too shall feel the heat. India can’t sleep well when house in the neighbor is “burning”. 

Keep your fingers crossed.

Good bye Captain Khan. Welcome Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Congratulations to you sir. Long live Nepal-Pakistan Friendship.

That’s all.

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