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Police file terrorism charges against former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

34 Comments
By MUNIR AHMED

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Howzat!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Imran Khan thought that the umpires (Pakistan’s military) were on his side but since match fixing is the norm in matches involving Pakistan, the umpires had no qualms in switching sides and giving him out after the Sharif clan appealed.

Now it seems not even the third umpire can save him. It’s amusing for the spectators watching this spectacle though.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One thing is for sure though, the US prefers him gone considering his sharp views on how much the US led war on terror damaged Pakistan and how much he wanted to align Pakistan with China and Russia openly.

US was able to get Ayman Al-Zawahiri only because Pakistan allowed the US drone to fly through its airspace. In return the US would certainly have promised the Sharif clan some support in getting Pakistan’s economy back on track and also the US will probably turn a blind eye to the nefarious activities of Pakistan’s military to some extent.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Too popular....ruling class/military must sideline him....much like Myanmyar

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The US again meddling in the internal politics of sovereign nations.. Worked out really well in the past... Maybe Pakistan will be the next Ukraine?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Beware his wrath.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The nepotism in the ruling class (which in Pakistan is basically the upper caste) is something that is common throughout South Asia, which we saw in Sri Lanka as well with the Rajapaskas. In India this is associated with the main left wing party (Nehru-Gandhi) whereas the right wing is led by non upper caste educated leaders.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The terrorism charges come over a speech Khan gave in Islamabad in which he vowed to sue police officers and a female judge and alleged that a close aide had been tortured after his arrest.

So, saying you will sue someone in court is "terrorism" now? That doesn't make sense.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

US was able to get Ayman Al-Zawahiri only because Pakistan allowed the US drone to fly through its airspace

Are you sure about that? The US has a base nearby in Kyrgyzstan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The US again meddling in the internal politics of sovereign nations.. Worked out really well in the past... Maybe Pakistan will be the next Ukraine.

For a contrary view of Imri Khan's fall read this:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/9/analysis-end-of-imran-khans-term

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So, saying you will sue someone in court is "terrorism" now? That doesn't make sense

I agree. What he said strikes me as protected political free speech. He never threatened violence but rather threatened legal and electoral / legislative consequences if he is able to return to power.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One thing is for sure though, the US prefers him gone considering his sharp views on how much the US led war on terror damaged Pakistan and how much he wanted to align Pakistan with China and Russia openly.

Pakistan was aligned with China long before Mr. Khan left the football pitch for politics. Pakistan buys warships from China and builds the J-17 fighter. The great majority of their tanks are either from China or locally built copies of Chinese tanks. Aside from the J-17 Pakistan flies the Chinese made F-16 equivalent, the J-10 and older J-7Fs (based on the MiG-21). Their F-16 were purchased way back in 1983 when Ronald Reagan was President. They have bought Chinese combat jets ever since. Their C-130s were delivered in 1963, during the Kennedy Administration. Their newest transport aircraft are Russian and Chinese built IL-76s. Saying Pakistan is turning to China is laughable. They have been a Chinese client state for decades.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are you sure about that? The US has a base nearby in Kyrgyzstan

Read the below

https://amp.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3187439/us-used-pakistani-airspace-drone-killed-al-qaeda-chief-ayman-al

As the article suggests, Pakistan wants to get back in the good books of the US after years of Imran Khan’s anti-US rhetoric which was popular with the public. The question is what was the quid pro quo? What exactly did US offer to Pakistan’s military that they eagerly cooperated with the Americans to take out Zawahiri.

I don’t for a moment believe that Pakistan’s military which is well funded as it is cares about the economy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Saying Pakistan is turning to China is laughable. They have been a Chinese client state for decades.

Yeah but Pakistan’s military don’t want to rub the US off the wrong way either. They want the best of both worlds and for decades, they have been able to have it.

There was a saying when the US got bogged down in the quagmire in Afghanistan that Pakistan’s ISI considered Al-Qaeda as Al-Fayeda (‘Fayeda’ is a Hindi and Urdu word rhyming with Qaeda which means profit) considering how much aid Pakistan was able to siphon off from the US by ostensibly giving support in the war on terror while the ISI was working against US interests behind the scenes all the time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So, saying you will sue someone in court is "terrorism" now? That doesn't make sense

I agree. What he said strikes me as protected political free speech. He never threatened violence but rather threatened legal and electoral / legislative consequences if he is able to return to power.

TheFu and DesertTortoise

The use of anti-terrorism laws as the basis of cases against political leaders is common in Pakistan, and Khan’s government also used them against opponents and critics.

In India the political leaders use ‘anti-corruption’ laws to fix their opponents similarly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Read the below

That article is pure speculation with no attribution. Also consider that the once great SCMP is no more. Today it is just a CCP mouthpiece.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All right then, below is an Indian news article confirming the same. The fact that Pakistan’s airspace was used for the drone that killed Zawahiri has been widely reported in Indian media.

https://www.news18.com/amp/news/world/us-drone-to-kill-zawahiri-used-pak-airspace-flew-from-a-middle-eastern-country-source-exclusive-5673163.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There was a saying when the US got bogged down in the quagmire in Afghanistan that Pakistan’s ISI considered Al-Qaeda as Al-Fayeda (‘Fayeda’ is a Hindi and Urdu word rhyming with Qaeda which means profit) considering how much aid Pakistan was able to siphon off from the US by ostensibly giving support in the war on terror while the ISI was working against US interests behind the scenes all the time.

You might wish to read James Mattis "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead" for a fuller understanding of the events in that relationship. And btw, General Mattis was famous for his loud, obscenity laced and very public dressing down of a Pakistani General at a big diplomatic gathering in Washington DC for their well known duplicity

What Pakistan fears most are the Pashtuns. About a third of Pakistan is traditionally Pashtun lands and Afghanistan has never recognized the border between the two. Pakistan has used a harsh form of Islam under the Taliban as a way to suppress Pashtun nationalism. Like may notionally Muslim nations who's dictators use religion as a means of social control, Pakistan uses the Taliban and Al Qaeda as a way to keep control of the Afghans and prevent them from trying to unite with the Pashtun speakers in Pakistan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@DesertTortoise

Whatever be the case, the fact is that US needs Pakistan now that there are no boots on the ground in Afghanistan. The US needed Pakistan even when they were in Afghanistan to keep the supply chain running for their bases in Afghanistan.

The US was willing to funnel dollars to Pakistan’s military even when they knew that elements in Pakistan’s ISI were working against them all along.

All the sanctimonious rhetoric about ‘human rights’ that the US keeps on giving  to India and many other countries goes out of the window when the US strategic interests come into the picture. 

This has been the case for decades so no wonder that countries which have been at the receiving end of US duplicity don’t want to fully align with the US.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Pakistan have always played both sides of the fence at the same time. .

They were protecting Bin Laden, yet, even in the evening of 9/11 their politicians were on Western Television opportunistically/shamelessly demanding massive amounts of money from the USA and West "to fight terrorism." Just like Turkey and Saudi they are sneaky wolves dressed as lambs. Can never be trusted.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

don’t want to fully align with the US.

No country is "fully aligned" with any other country. Each country has slightly different needs. The world isn't black and white, unless you are simple minded.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No country is "fully aligned" with any other country. Each country has slightly different needs.

Yeah but there are vassal states and client states.

The US will always spew sanctimonious rhetoric and high sounding words about 'human rights violations', unless it happens to be a US strategic ally like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This story is a bit short on the charges. He's accused of being a terrorist not just for what's reported here. He's peddling conspiracy theories, and acting on them as well, not to mention having links with car bombers, and sabotagers.

The police 'may' even have recordings. The sort of anarchic activities he's openly promoted requires little effort to gather evidence. He should know that, he pinned the same charges against his opponents, at one point 60% of government cabinet was charged and out on bail.

https://mobile.twitter.com/VirkSh786/status/1550057065141489666

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well that's simply not cricket.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So Pakistan charges the former pm of terrorism for actions(?) and speech...meanwhile in the US vs Trump..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

TheFu and DesertTortoise

The use of anti-terrorism laws as the basis of cases against political leaders is common in Pakistan, and Khan’s government also used them against opponents and critics.

In India the political leaders use ‘anti-corruption’ laws to fix their opponents similarly.

Understood. It is still wrong, a clear violation of the right to free speech.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So Pakistan charges the former pm of terrorism for actions(?) and speech...meanwhile in the US vs Trump..

Unlike Pakistan the courts are independent and prosecutors have to convince a jury that a crime happened. Likewise they have to convince a judge evidence of a crime exists somewhere to obtain a search warrant. The standards are much higher and the courts are not bound to rule in favor of whomever is in power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Understood. It is still wrong, a clear violation of the right to free speech.

Right to free speech in a country with the second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran. LOL.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The terrorism charges come over a speech Khan gave in Islamabad on Saturday in which he vowed to sue police officers and a female judge and alleged that a close aide had been tortured after his arrest.

Khan himself appeared to still be free and had not immediately addressed the police charge sheet being lodged against him. Khan’s political party — Tehreek-e-Insaf, now in the opposition — published online videos showing supporters surrounding his home to potentially stop police from reaching it.

https://worldabcnews.com/police-file-terrorism-charges-against-pakistans-ex-pm-imran-khan/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The terrorism charges come over a speech Khan gave in Islamabad on Saturday in which he vowed to sue police officers and a female judge and alleged that a close aide had been tortured after his arrest.

Vowing to sue someone is simply not terrorism, nor is claiming a close aid was tortured. There is no terrorism in those statements, not even the slightest incitement to violence. It is ridiculous and affront to free speech.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Right to free speech in a country with the second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran. LOL

Understood, but the right to free speech is a fundamental right of mankind. The fact of this being a fundamental right does not depend on a nation acknowledging such. Oppression does not somehow change the fact that it is a right.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@DesertTortoise

So the question is that will the US, the champion of human rights and democratic values, put pressure on Pakistan’s government and military and stand up for Imran Khan? Knowing Khan’s anti-US political stand and how much his brand of politics gains from the anti-US sentiment among the common people in Pakistan.

Or will they turn a blind eye to whatever is going on over there now that a pro-US but abysmally corrupt and unpopular government backed by Pakistan’s military which is ready to do the US bidding is in power?

I think I already know the answers to those questions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US will always spew sanctimonious rhetoric and high sounding words about 'human rights violations', unless it happens to be a US strategic ally like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

The US does call out human rights violations all around the world, including inside the US. When Biden was in Saudi Arabia, he got the cold shoulder from the head thug there over multiple state killings and attempted kidnappings in Turkey, the USA, and Canada. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/13/opinion/biden-mbs-saudi-visit.html

There are parts of every country that the US gets along with and there are parts of every country that the US doesn't get along with. By "US", I'm separating "USgovt official policy" from unofficial and personal stances.

Nobody here has any inside track on what the USGovt - ... President or State Department plans may or my not be related to any country.

There are many things for Pakistani people to dislike about the USGovt (actually there are many things for citizens of the US to dislike about our own govt). I dated a Pakistani girl in college. She was nothing - nothing - like what the world presents Muslim women from central Asia to be like. Anyway, the real difference between the USGovt and all those others is that disagreeing with our govt doesn't get you disappeared, beaten, or have your business and livelihood taken away. I wouldn't worry that the govt would go after my family (close or distant) and I certainly wouldn't be worried about the feds physically harming me or my family, unless I was violent towards them. In Pakistan and probably 50 other countries, I would be fearful of all those things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US does call out human rights violations all around the world

Then my original question to DesertTortoise for you as well. 

Will the US admonish Pakistan for bringing trumped up charges against Imran Khan? 

Knowing that Imran Khan’s brand of politics thrives on exploiting anti-US sentiment within Pakistan but that he is far less corrupt than the Sharifs who are in charge now and far more popular among Pakistan’s middle class (this point you can confirm from your ex-girlfriend).

Or will the US tacitly encourage the military clipping the wings of Imran Khan given that now they are ready to do US bidding without any hindrance from the civilian leadership. Especially since US is no longer in Afghanistan and needs to depend on Pakistan’s support to tackle the extremists inside Afghanistan?

BTW Pakistan is in South Asia, not in Central Asia. That knowledge and a few words of Urdu will go some way in impressing Pakistani girls.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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