by WorldTribune Staff, April 11, 2022
Massive street protests erupted in Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted in a midnight vote of no-confidence in parliament on Saturday which Khan said was engineered by the Biden administration in Washington.
Khan was out of power on Sunday after 174 parliamentarians passed the no-confidence motion, which required 172 votes among the 342 seat parliament to pass.
The new prime minister is Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister who was convicted of corruption and currently is in exile in the UK.
“If we are to save the sinking ship that is this country,” Shehbaz Sharif said in a speech after lawmakers elected him, “it will require effort, effort and more effort.”
Khan quickly pointed the finger at the United States, tweeting: “Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support & emotions to protest against U.S.-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafars to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail. Shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this.”
The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying there is “absolutely no truth” to Khan’s allegations.
Khan had met with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 24, just hours before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Despite the visit being long in planning, and primarily aimed at boosting energy and trade ties between the two countries, “the poor timing served to spotlight the controversy of the visit and warming Pakistan-Russia relations,” Zero Hedge noted in an April 10 report.
Khan has specifically pointed to the Feb. 24 Putin meeting as what finally set in motion Team Biden’s regime change move against him.
“Of course, we continue to follow these developments, and we respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and rule of law. But again, these allegations are absolutely not true,” a State Department spokesperson said.
Sharif’s time as prime minister likely won’t last long as his party and its allies say they plan to call elections later this year.
Khan’s party walked out of parliament on Monday in a futile attempt to try to deny legitimacy to Sharif and his government.
“There is no greater betrayal of this country than electing that man,” Khan told reporters, referring to Sharif.
Nawaz Sharif, who was last elected as prime minister in 2013, lives in exile in the UK after being convicted of corruption in Pakistan. The elder Sharif insists the charges against him were politically motivated. He had been grooming his daughter, Maryam Sharif, as a potential successor, but she, too, is barred from holding office in Pakistan because of a corruption conviction.
The new prime minister said he would repair ties with Washington and reach out to Pakistan’s traditional foe, India.
Pakistan PM @ImranKhanPTI’s call for an election was reversed & he was ousted due to what he claims is a Biden-admin “regime change” to punish him for visiting Putin
— Maajid أبو عمّار (@MaajidNawaz) April 11, 2022