By: Zahid Jadwat
The United States may have had a hand in the latest string of events to occur in Pakistan’s politics, including a now-dismissed no-confidence vote which had the odds stacked against Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to an independent political analyst.
Speaking to Radio Islam, independent political analyst Hashmatullah Moslih suggested that a misalignment seems to be developing between Pakistan’s official stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the military’s supposed allegiance to the United States. This, he said, may have sparked efforts to have Khan removed through a motion-of-no-confidence.
“[I] believe that behind this no-confidence vote, the Americans are playing their hand, Pakistan has always been a strategic partner of America. Now, with the war in Ukraine, many countries have condemned Ukraine’s invasion by Russia except Pakistan. Pakistan wants to play that game of [manoeuvring] between the two superpowers, but the military has to tow the line and go with their old partners (the Americans)”.
Moslih believes that the military may opt to “take matters into their hands”, after Khan dissolved parliament and called for fresh elections in order to block a no-confidence vote that was expected to remove him from power on Sunday (April 3).
“It’s quite possible that Pakistan’s military would move and take matters into their hands,” he said, as analysts warn that the country may be on the brink of a constitutional crisis.
Khan rose to power with the backing of Pakistan’s powerful military establishment, but discord over senior appointments appear to have eroded the support of the military.
“From the military’s perspective, Pakistan needs a longstanding partnership with the Americans,” Moslih said.
In the meantime, the Supreme Court is deliberating the case brought by the opposition parties in response to Khan’s dissolution of parliament.
Listen to the full interview here: