Monday, June 24, 2024

Imran Khan’s Dangerous Game

Authors: Javid Ahmad and Douglas London

Affiliation: Atlantic Council, Former Afghanistan ambassador to the UAE, Modern War Institute at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Nonresident Fellow), and Contractor for the US Defense Community / Georgetown University (Adjunct Faculty) and Senior CIA Operations Officer (Retired after 34 years of service, including as Counterterrorism Chief for South and Southwest Asia)

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Policy

Date/Place: April 20, 2022/ Washington DC, USA

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 2250


Keywords: Pakistan, Imran Khan, Vote of No Confidence, Regime Change, US, Polarization, Anti-Americanism, Corruption


This article gives a view into what Washington wants Islamabad to do after removing Imran Khan as chief executive of Pakistan, courtesy of the two authors of this piece, one of which is a retired Senior CIA Operations Officer while the other works for a think tank which directly aligns itself with US foreign policy. While the authors give an impression that Khan has “made-up” the foreign plot story which ousted him as premier of 220 million people, they however reflect on how strongly the Pakistani military generals have also been doing America’s bidding at the cost of common Pakistanis. It is now more than evident that Khan was removed because he chose to run Pakistan independent of the US’ say which ruffled feathers in Washington, the Pentagon, and more so importantly in Rawalpindi, home to the Pakistani Army leadership. Khan’s argument that Pakistan by fighting America’s war was hurting itself, its people and economy, did not have many supporters in the military which has been getting billions of dollars in security aid from the Pentagon, though later stopped by Donald Trump. The resumption of a billion-dollar annual aid may be in the future. As the authors make a strong case for the incumbent Pakistani rulers, dubbed by Khan as imported government (brought into power by foreign forces), to reset relations with the US, maintain distance from Russia and reduce dealings with China, they also acknowledge that any such maneuvering will only expose the rulers and the military alike as it would give credence to Khan’s narrative that his government was uprooted because he said “absolutely Not” to the US.

By: Riyaz ul Khaliq, CIGA Non-resident Research Associate



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