Imran Khan’s six unpardonable sins against the United States

Imran Khan Editorial credit: Awais khan /

Veteran journalist Abdel Bari Atwan says the U.S. will continue to conspire against Pakistan’s “insubordinate” prime minister who has consistently refused to follow American diktats in the region.

By dissolving parliament and calling fresh elections within three months, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan may have foiled Washington’s scheme to depose him by getting opposition parties to withdraw confidence from his government.

But this pre-emptive strike does not mean the plot has been thwarted. It could extend to arranging a military coup against him. The army remains the supreme power in Pakistan and has staged four coups since the country was founded, most of them in collusion with the Americans who retain senior commanders as their clients.

The sins committed by Imran Khan in the eyes of the U.S. which prompted it and its deep state to conspire to overthrow him can be summed up in six main policies and stances he took.

  1. His refusal to stop backing Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, which hastened the U.S.’s defeat and humiliating withdrawal from the country last year.

2. His alignment with China and involvement in its Belt and Road Initiative, including the signing of a massive economic cooperation pact worth some $62 billion which spares him from reliance on the U.S.

3. His support for Russia after its invasion of Ukraine and his visit to Moscow at the start of the crisis where he was warmly welcomed by President Putin.

4. His establishment of strong strategic relations with Iran in defiance of the U.S. blockade of the country and alleged assistance in developing its nuclear programme.

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5. His unconditional backing for the Palestinian cause and refusal to be part of the Abraham Accords and the normalisation process with Israel, despite heavy Arab and American pressure in this regard.

Joe Biden Editorial credit: Crush Rush /

6. His rejection of repeated American requests to allow U.S. military basis in Pakistan and his role in getting the Taliban to befriend China and prevent any terrorist actions against it from Afghanistan.

The Trump administration froze almost $3 billion in annual aid to Pakistan to put pressure on it because of its supposed support for “terrorism” in Afghanistan and its refusal to fight the Taliban, sever relations with Iran, or send troops to take part in the Saudi/UAE coalition’s war in Yemen.

That did not change after Joe Biden took office. He kept things as they were and avoided contacting Khan. The chasm widened when the latter was seen to celebrate the collapse of the US’s occupation and its chaotic retreat from Afghanistan.

Khan did not uncover any secret when he announced he had proof that the U.S. was seeking to oust him because of his refusal to allow it to establish military bases in his country. The decision to remove him was taken as soon as his bloc won the last parliamentary elections and replaced the previous corrupt government. Its implementation became an urgent priority after he visited Moscow and effectively joined the Russian-Chinese-Iranian alliance against the U.S.

Perhaps Khan’s biggest “mistake” was to wholeheartedly back the Palestinian cause and openly criticise the Islamic world for failing to confront the racist Zionist project and halt its massacres against the Palestinian people.

Khan was never sectarian despite inducements from the Gulf to adopt an anti-Iranian stance. He has also shown personal integrity, paying his own expenses rather than taking money from state coffers. He doesn’t own lucrative businesses and vast tracts of land or appoint his relatives to important state jobs like his predecessor Nawaz Sharif and others.

The conspiracy against him is unlikely to be called off despite his apparently successful pre-emptive strike against the U.S.’s local clients. The danger is that Washington will resort to the army and instigate it to seize power and declare a state of emergency. That would be a disaster for Pakistan.

This article first appeared on Raialyoum.

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