Donald Lu should be sacked for 'bad manners and sheer arrogance', Imran says in CNN interview

Ex-PM admits ‘optics did not look good’ as his visit to Moscow coincided with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

News Desk May 23, 2022
Former prime minister Imran Khan in an interview with CNN. SCREENGRAB

Former prime minister Imran Khan has said that top US diplomat Donald Lu, who reportedly used threatening language in a meeting with a Pakistani ambassador, should be sacked for “bad manners and sheer arrogance”.

“On March 7... US undersecretary of state responsible for South Asia tells our ambassador in an official meeting [with] note takers on both sides that unless you get rid of your prime minister Pakistan will suffer consequences,” Imran said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on Monday.

He was responding to a question related to his allegations that the US engineered his ouster from power through a vote of no-confidence.

“This guy should be sacked for bad manners and sheer arrogance. Imagine, telling an ambassador country of 220 million people that you get rid of your prime minister,” he said referring to the diplomatic cable sent by then Pakistan envoy to US Asad Majeed in March.

Following the alleged blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, the ousted premier said he put the diplomatic cable containing the alleged threat before the cabinet and the National Security Committee (NSC).

“The National Security Council decided to give a demarche to the US [ambassador] in Pakistan and Washington [as well]. This is all minuted...”

When asked if it is better for Pakistan to have good relations with the US, Imran said: “We had perfectly good relations with the Trump administration its only when the Biden administration came and it coincided with what was happening in Afghanistan...”

Also read: Body to probe Imran’s ‘foreign conspiracy drama’

He went on to say that he was not aware of the reasons as to why the US never engaged with his government.

“My point is very clear 220 million people elected me my first responsibility is to the people of Pakistan..”

Imran said his visit to Russia was perceived as if he was anti-American. However, he admitted that optics did not look good as his visit to Moscow coincided with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This visit was planned a long time back and all stakeholders were on board... the military wanted hardware we wanted oil...”

“I would regret about it [Russia visit] if we had known about the invasion and then I had gone in. I don’t believe in the military solution I had opposed all military ways to achieve political ends,” he added.

Divulging the details of the alleged regime change plot, Imran said the US embassy met his party members “some of the backbenchers who were not happy”.

“They were the ones who jumped the ship first. They were having meetings with the US embassy and they were offered $1 million each to jump ship...,” he said while referring to the PTI dissidents who supported opposition parties against him in the no-trust motion.

“Why would the US embassy be interested in backbenchers of my party,” he questioned.


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