- Says his govt's relations with the US strained after Joe Biden became president
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Monday that a top US diplomat who, according to him, was involved in the US-backed plot to remove him from office needs to resign.
Khan, during an interview with CNN's Becky Anderson, reiterated his stance that his dismissal last month through a no-confidence vote was a result of a conspiracy. The US State Department has denied Khan's allegations.
“A meeting takes place between a US Under Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asia, and our ambassador, in which the former threatens the latter of severe consequence if the vote of no-confidence against me did not succeed,” Khan said during the interview with CNN.
“He then goes on to say that if you get rid of him through the vote of no-confidence, all will be forgiven. Such arrogance!
"Apart from anything else, this guy should be sacked for bad manners and sheer arrogance.”
Khan said that his government had excellent relations with the Trump administration, which strained after President Joe Biden assumed office.
“For some reason, they [Biden administration] never get in touch with me."
The former premier said that he presented the cypher, which he says is proof of the conspiracy, before the federal cabinet, and the National Security Council (NSC), as it was a "blatant interference in Pakistan's affairs".
When asked whether he got in touch with US President Biden or other officials, Khan said the NSC had decided to issue a demarche and protest against the US in Pakistan as well.
He mentioned that President Dr Arif Alvi had also asked Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to hold an inquiry into the matter.
Meanwhile, in response to a question on whether he would run for the premiership in the next election, he said:
"Whenever the next elections take place, not only will we run, but I can predict that this will become the biggest party in Pakistan's history, because people are so incensed and feel insulted that these criminals have been forced upon us," Khan said, referring to Pakistan's new government that he has repeatedly called 'imported' as a reference to the conspiracy.
Elaborating why he believed Washington was behind the regime-change in Pakistan, Khan said US diplomats in Pakistan were meeting his party’s dissident lawmakers before the motion was tabled.
"Why were they meeting them?" he questioned, adding that they were the first ones who then jumped ship.
"Why would the US embassy be interested in the backbenchers of our party?" he said.
He told CNN that there was anger and "anti-Americanism right now" in the country.
Khan's visit to Moscow
To a question on his presence in Moscow on the day the Russia-Ukraine conflict began, the former premier reiterated that his visit was planned a long time ago, and all stakeholders in Pakistan were on board.
"How would I know that the day I land in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin would decide to go into Ukraine.
"I would regret the trip to Russia if we had known about the invasion and then I [had] gone in because I do not believe in military solutions," he said when asked if he "regretted his trip to Russia".