Policy

Ousted Pakistani PM calls for US diplomat to be sacked over alleged plot

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Ousted Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, in a July 21, 2019, file photo.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for the resignation of a U.S. diplomat over unsubstantiated claims that the United States was part of a plot to unseat him from power.

In an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on Monday, Khan alleged that Donald Lu, the assistant secretary of State for South and Central Asia, met with Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, D.C., in March and told him to “get rid of him [Khan] in a vote of no confidence” or “Pakistan would suffer consequences.”

“This guy should be sacked for bad manners and sheer arrogance,” he added. “Imagine telling the ambassador of a country of 220 million people that you get rid of your prime minister.”

However, a State Department spokesperson reiterated the department’s previous statements to The Hill and said that “there is absolutely no truth to these allegations.” 

Khan, who was removed from power in a no-confidence vote in parliament by an alliance of all major political parties, was widely held responsible for mishandling the economy. He has since been holding rallies across Pakistan, making speeches blaming the U.S. for his removal.

According to Khan, Lu’s conversation took place before the no-confidence motion was tabled in parliament, adding that there were “note-takers from both sides.”

He told CNN that he had a “perfectly good relationship with the Trump administration” but that “when the Biden administration came, it coincided with what was happening in Afghanistan and for some reason — which I still don’t know — they never got in touch with me.”

When asked by Anderson if he would run for prime minister again, Khan said he would and that “there is anger in Pakistan … there is anti-Americanism.”

The Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Khan had previously alleged that Lu was involved in the “foreign conspiracy” to topple his government.

State Department principal deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter said at a press briefing in April that “there is absolutely no truth to the allegations.”

Tags Donald Lu Donald Lu Imran Khan Imran Khan Pakistan state department

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