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US Pressured Pakistan to Remove PM Khan Over Ukraine Neutrality

INTERNATIONAL: The US State Department pressured Pakistan to remove its popular prime minister, Imran Khan, last year over his neutrality regarding the conflict in Ukraine, according to a secret diplomatic cable obtained by The Intercept.

The cable dated March 7, 2022, documents a meeting between US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan. In the cable, Lu expresses concern about Khan's "aggressively neutral" position on Ukraine and warns that if Khan is not removed, the US will "isolate" Pakistan.

Khan has repeatedly denied that he was ousted from power due to US pressure, but the cable appears to confirm his claims. The cable also shows that the US was willing to reward Pakistan for removing Khan, offering to provide the country with a defense pact and other benefits.

Khan's ouster has had a significant impact on Pakistan's foreign policy. In the months since Khan was removed, Pakistan has reversed its neutrality on Ukraine and has begun supplying weapons to Ukraine. The country has also moved closer to the US and has distanced itself from Russia.

The US pressure on Pakistan to remove Khan is a reminder of the country's long history of being influenced by foreign powers. Pakistan has been a US ally for decades, but the relationship between the two countries has been strained in recent years. The US pressure on Pakistan to remove Khan is likely to further strain the relationship between the two countries.

It is unclear what the long-term implications of the US pressure on Pakistan will be. However, it is clear that the US is willing to use its influence to pressure Pakistan to change its policies. This is a reminder of the power that the US has over Pakistan, and it is a reminder that Pakistan is not always able to make its own decisions.

The cable also raises questions about the role of the US in Pakistan's domestic politics. The US has a long history of interfering in Pakistan's elections, and the cable suggests that the US may have been involved in Khan's ouster. This is a serious allegation, and it is one that deserves to be investigated.

The US pressure on Pakistan to remove Khan is a reminder of the country's complex and often troubled relationship with the US. It is a relationship that is based on both cooperation and conflict. It is a relationship that is likely to continue to be tested in the years to come.

(Source The Intercept)

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