“The political objective,” of the removal from office and 10-year imprisonment of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, “is to block Pakistan’s most popular politician from returning to power in the elections on Feb. 8,” writes Jeffrey Sachs in a Feb. 1 op-ed published by Common Dreams.
Sachs looks to the U.S. as playing a leading role in regime change in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 240 million people: “A principal instrument of U.S. foreign policy is covert regime change, meaning a secret action by the U.S. government to bring down the government of another country. There are strong reasons to believe that U.S. actions led to the removal from power of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in April 2022, followed by his arrest on trumped-up charges of corruption and espionage, and sentencing this week to 10 years imprisonment on the espionage charge.”
Sachs cites a 2018 study by Professor Lindsay O’Rourke that counts 64 U.S. attempts at covert “regime change,” just over the period 1947-1989. Since then, we can look to the 2014 coup in Ukraine as a notable example of a “color revolution.” In 2017, the existence of the CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore was revealed. The operation, launched during the Obama presidency, was “regime change” in Syria.
What was Imran Khan’s sin? Sachs posits that it was Khan’s adamant determination to reject choosing sides according to the false vision of NATO vs. Russia and China. After being (coincidentally) in Moscow on the day Putin announced the beginning of what he called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Khan refused to denounce Russia. On March 6, he told a huge rally in Pakistan, that “EU ambassadors wrote a letter to us asking us to condemn and vote against Russia. … What do you think of us? Are we your slaves ... that whatever you say, we will do?”