Zalmay Khalilzad again gives ‘unsolicited’ advice to Pakistan about Imran Khan

Web Desk
March 22, 2023

'Government appears to have decided to set up Imran Khan as Enemy No 1 of the state,' says Zalmay Khalilzad

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Former US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Zalmay Khalilzad. — AFP/ File

Former US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Wednesday once again advised the Pakistani government to refrain itself from proceeding against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan despite being asked by the Foreign Office to stay away from domestic issues.

In a series of tweets, Khalilzad claimed that indications showed that Pakistan's parliament may ask the Supreme Court to disqualify Imran Khan from running for election and prohibit PTI in the next few days.

“The government appears to have decided to set up Imran Khan as Enemy No 1 of the State. Such steps will only deepen Pakistan's triple crises: political, economic, and security. Already, some countries have suspended planned investments,” he claimed.

“The IMF support remains doubtful.”

The former US diplomat warned that Pakistan’s international support will “decline further” and political polarisation and violence will “likely increase” if Imran Khan and the PTI were attacked.

“I hope the Pakistani political leaders rise above destructive petty politics that undermine the national interest. If not, I hope the Supreme Court says no to being used in games that undermine the nation's interests. I am becoming increasingly concerned about Pakistan.”

Last week, the Foreign Office reacted strongly to Khalilzad’s “lectures” and told him that his feedback is not needed.

“Pakistan does not need lectures or unsolicited advice from anyone on how to cope with the challenges we face today. As a resilient nation, we will come out stronger from the present difficult situation.”

It is important to note that the PTI has engaged lobbying firms in the US after which a number of Congressmen and other influential figures have spoken in favour of the former prime minister.

The former ruling party has been embroiled in controversies facing multiple legal challenges since its ouster from the government.

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