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Did the U.S. Push Imran Khan from Power? Leaked Cable Shows How State Dept. Pressured Pakistan

Written by on 17/08/2023

An explosive leaked document obtained by The Intercept appears to show direct U.S. involvement in former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ouster in 2022 because of his stance on the war in Ukraine. Khan is currently jailed and facing trial over a slew of corruption charges that his supporters say are intended to keep him from running for office again. The former cricket star was elected in 2018 but lost power in 2022 after a no-confidence vote in Parliament, which he says was engineered by the country’s powerful military with support from the U.S. The diplomatic cable published by The Intercept shows State Department officials pressured their Pakistani counterparts to push Khan out because of his neutrality over the war in Ukraine, promising that “all will be forgiven” if he was to be removed. “This document has been at the center of Pakistan’s political crisis for the past year and a half,” says Murtaza Hussain, senior writer at The Intercept. “Now that we’ve seen this document for the first time, it does seem to validate many of [Khan’s] claims.”

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