Al Jazeera English reported on 28/ 04/2022 that, “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, son of assassinated former Premier Benazir Bhutto, as foreign minister… At just 33, Bhutto-Zardari becomes one of the world’s youngest foreign ministers… Sharif announced a 41-member cabinet after he took over from removed premier Imran Khan earlier this month…...” The government of Shebaz Sharif, who succeeded his brother Nawaz as president of PML-N, was sworn in on 19/4/2022, that is, more than a week after the withdrawal of confidence from Imran Khan.
The question is what caused this change? Note that Parliament, with the support of the army, had given confidence to Imran when he was appointed, whilst the army was angry with the two parties, the PML-N and PPP at that time. So what has happened since? Does America have a hand in the matter, knowing that it has been behind the rule in Pakistan for years?
In order to clarify the answer to these questions, we review the following:
Firstly, how did Imran Khan reach ruling?
1- It was the army that granted Imran Khan power. Imran Khan ran a government that was unparalleled with respect to the generals. He has been criticized for being too close to the military since he promised to create a “New Pakistan,” getting rid of corruption and nepotism, after winning the 2018 elections. Until recently, Imran Khan was described as one of Pakistan’s most closely allied to the military, amongst the heads of government. Imran was even accused of being subservient to the military.
Had it not been for the army’s support for him, Imran Khan would not have gained any confidence for ruling! In 1996, he announced the formation of his political party Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI). In 1997, Imran Khan failed to win even a single seat in the National Assembly during the general elections. It was only in 2013 that his party managed to make an impact in Pakistani politics, due to the support of the Pakistani Army. His party managed to win 30 seats in the National Assembly. It was the third largest opposition party, after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party. The army then chose to give Khan a chance to win the 2018 elections. However, that was only after Imran Khan agreed to the Chief of Army Staff, Qamar Bajwa, running the general elections.
2- The army, alongside the intelligence under the direction of Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed, worked relentlessly to improve Khan’s political prospects. The ISI helped arrange his gatherings across the country, making him a winning candidate. Whilst intimidating the press over providing positive coverage of PML-N, the security services attacked the PML-N, arrested, detained and harassed PML-N staff – Nawaz’s wing. The military also worked behind the scenes to disqualify PML-N candidates from running…
3- Although Imran Khan’s party won 149 seats in the National Assembly, it was still less than the 172 seats needed to form a majority government. However, it was able to do so in the form of a coalition government, with the arrangement of the military. The coalition government was the plan of the Pakistani Army to ensure a means of a roll-back, should Imran Khan change his mind and act against the army. The intelligence also succeeded in wooing members of the Pakistan People’s Party into Imran Khan’s government. Thus, a total of 17 members of Imran Khan’s team were appointed under the influence of the ISI. Only three members of the cabinet were PTI supporters who had never been in any other party previously!
Secondly: After Imran Khan became Prime Minister, he provided many services to America,
1- Pakistani Geo News TV channel reported regarding Khan that, “He received a letter from US President Trump earlier today 3/12/2018, in which he asked Pakistan to play a role in the Afghan peace talks and help bring the Taliban movement to the negotiating table,” as reported internationally by Russia’s Sputnik on 3/12/2018. Then Imran Khan met two days later with the US Special Envoy Khalilzad in Islamabad, confirming Pakistan’s progress with respect to the American plan for Afghanistan!
2- Former Pakistani Defense Minister, Khawaja Asif, confirmed the betrayal by Pakistan’s rulers, whilst he is one of them. In a series of tweets, Khwaja Asif stated on 3/1/2018, “You have asked what did we do? A dictator surrendered on a single phone call, our country witnessed the worst bloodbath, you carried out 57,800 attacks on Afghanistan from our bases, your forces were supplied arms and explosives through our soil, thousands of our civilians and soldiers became victims of the war initiated by you… We considered your enemy as our own, we filled the Guantanamo Bay, we served you with such an enthusiasm that we left our country with load shedding and gas shortage. We tried to please you at the cost of our economy, we provided tens of thousands of visas as a result of which the networks of Black Water spread across our country.” There is nothing more frank than this: Pakistan fought a war that was not its war… It shed the blood of Muslim children for America’s sake… And it squandered the values of its Islamic Deen, in order to serve American interests…
3- Likewise with regard to India, as he failed previously, Imran kept silent about India’s annexation of Kashmir, except by stances of lip-service. So we said in the question and answer of 8/8/2019, “When India announced its recent decision to revoke the Kashmir special status, Pakistan’s position was also disappointing, it did not go beyond condemnation, to remove the blame. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, ‘Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today (Monday 5/8/2019) by New Delhi. No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.’ (AFP 5/8/2019) ... In other words, exactly as the [Palestinian] Authority of Abbas and the Arab countries around them do, they denounce and protest against the violations of the Jewish entity of the Blessed Land of Palestine without mobilizing the armies to fight. Pakistan repeats the same role and denounces without moving the army to fight!” [End Quote]
4- Imran Khan dealt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whilst this fund is under the control of the US. Imran Khan implemented its policies, after he spoke against dealing with the IMF in his campaign for power. Indeed, Imran had stated before coming to power, in an interview published in the British newspaper, ‘The Guardian,’ on 18 September 2011, that, “A country that relies on aid? Death is better than that. It stops you from achieving your potential, just as colonialism did. Aid is humiliating. Every country I know that has had IMF or World Bank programmes has only impoverished the poor and enriched the rich.” Yet, on coming to power he reneged on his promise! Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund began in earnest. Then, on 3 July, 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to arrange a $6 billion loan for Pakistan under a 39-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF)...
5- Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, recalled services for the US, in an interview with Fox News on Monday 22/7/2019, stating, “We in Pakistan always felt that we were an ally of the US and if we had been given the information about Osama bin Laden, we should have taken him out. And yet it was ISI that gave the information which led to the location of Osama bin Laden. If you ask CIA it was ISI which gave the initial location through the phone connection.” He stated this “in the first visit of the former cricket hero to the White House, since his election a year ago in Pakistan, where he met US President Donald Trump,” as reported by Al-Quds Al-Arabi on 23/07/2019.
Thirdly: The tense relationship between Imran and the army leadership, and then the United States:
Imran Khan continued to be under the control of the army, with the US behind it, for about three years of his rule. At the end of the third year, his relationship with Army Chief Bajwa became tense, as it did subsequently with the US for its support of the army stance. Imran refused to accept the army’s candidate for the position of the head of the ISI. Lieutenant-General Anjum Nadeem was held up in the appointment, which led to unease in the army… As reported by Al-Manar TV website on 27/10/2021, “Anjum will take up his new post on 20 November. On 6 October, Bajwa appointed Anjum to replace the head of the ISI, Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed. Anjum was occupying the position of Corps Commander in the southern port city of Karachi. Bajwa appointed Hameed as the Corps Commander in Peshawar this month.” Imran Khan has been publicly stating his support for Faiz Hameed as the leadership of internal intelligence. Thus, the relationship of the government of Imran Khan with the army was marred by tensions, following the appointment of Nadeem Anjum in the place of Faiz Hameed. This was particularly so amongst widespread speculation that Khan would nominate Hameed to replace Qamar Javed Bajwa, whose second term in office ends in November 2022.
Of course, America stands behind the army chief. Hence, the decision was made to pave the way for the withdrawal of confidence from Imran Khan, alongside a search for a replacement for him. Imran Khan received some of this information. So, Imran tried to make amends with the army leadership. He agreed to appoint Nadeem Anjum in the place of Imran’s friend, Faiz Hameed. However, the army leadership insisted, with American support, that Imran must be removed from the post of prime minister, with the appointment of someone else! The army and America feared that this violation of the army’s decision would lead to the undermining of the decisions of the army, backed by America. Hence the insistence on removing Imran…
Fourthly: Imran Khan was agitated, especially since he rendered great services to America as we mentioned, whilst, similarly, he obeyed the leadership of the army… it is as if he ruled out that the army and America would work to isolate him, after the services he provided them. However, he forgot or made himself forget that the kuffar countries do not allow their agents any room to breathe! In any case, he was upset about this and made statements about America, but by then it was too late! Among his statements:
1- As reported by Euro News Arabia on 4/2/2022, “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan told a group of foreign journalists today, Saturday, ‘The move to oust me is blatant interference in domestic politics by the United States.’” The Arab Post on 3/4/2022 stated that, “local media reported that Khan had received a message from the ambassador of Islamabad in Washington that included a recording in which a high-ranking US official, said to be US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, declaring that the United States felt that relations could be better if Khan left.”
2- In a stance differing with Washington’s position on Russia regarding its attack on Ukraine, Imran Khan refused to condemn the attack and even visited Moscow, appearing next to the Russian President. Vladimir Putin, on 24/2/2022, i.e. on the first day of Russia’s war on Ukraine. This is whilst the Pakistani army chief, Qamar Bajwa, condemned the attack explicitly, supporting the American stance and contradicting Khan’s recent statements. Al Hurra reported on 2/4/2022 that, “the Pakistani army chief criticized the Russian war on Ukraine, calling for an immediate halt to what he described as a “huge tragedy,” affecting a smaller country. It is noteworthy that General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s criticism of Moscow contradicts the Prime Minister of his country, Imran Khan. Imran Khan defended the necessity of Islamabad’s neutrality, directing it towards what is happening in Ukraine. He also refused to criticize the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
3- In another stance, as reported by ‘The New Arab,’ on 7/3/2022, “Imran Khan spoke of ambassadors of the European Union writing a letter asking him to condemn the Russian military operation in Ukraine… Imran said, ‘I want to ask the European Union ambassadors: Did you write such a letter to India?’ He added, ‘What do you think of us? Are we your slaves…that whatever you say, we will do?’ The Pakistani ruled continued, “When India violated international laws in Kashmir and the United States Security Council Resolutions, did any of you [EU ambassadors] criticize India. Did you break off ties with India? Or suspend trade with them?”
Fifthly: As we said above, Imran Khan did not expect that all his service to the army, and behind it, America, would be of no use to him! It is as if he did not realize that whoever comes to power with the support of the colonial kuffar, as an agent for them, becomes like a chess piece for them. They move him as they like. Moreover, they dispense of him as they like, without hesitation, if he does not achieve their interests. This was what happened to Imran Khan! On 7/4/2022, the Deputy Speaker’s decision rejected the vote on the opposition’s motion of no-confidence against the government of Imran Khan. It also annulled the decision of the President of the Republic to dissolve Parliament on 3/4/2022 and move towards holding early elections, on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The court ruled that this move was against the constitution and hence null and void. The apex court also ordered the speaker of the house to hold a session of Parliament on 10/4/2022, in which the 342-seat Pakistani Parliament voted by 174 votes for no-confidence against Imran Khan… It is clear that in these events, the military was running matters behind the scenes. The senior judges would never take such a decision without the full support of the army chief…
Sixthly: On the following day, 11/4/2022, the Parliament chose Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister, until the date of the general elections in August 2023. As for Shehbaz, he is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, who was the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Shehbaz has been the leader of the opposition in the Pakistani National Assembly since 2018. Shehbaz took over the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League after his brother Nawaz, who founded the party. Shehbaz committed himself to being obedient to the army and America… and then the army supported him in the election to replace Imran Khan and he did the following:
1- Shehbaz began his political term according to what America wants… He began with a conciliatory tone with India, stating that he is ready for dialogue instead of confrontation. Sky News in Arabic reported on 14/4/2022 that “In his first speech, Shehbaz Sharif said, ‘We want good relations with India but there cannot be sustainable peace unless the issue of Kashmir is resolved,’ whilst calling upon the Prime Minister of India to allow the resolution of the Kashmir issue and so energies are devoted to the prosperity of the two countries.” The Indian Prime Minister Modi responded to him by tweeting, “Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror, so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people.” Note that the Indian Prime Minister is hateful of Islam and Muslims. Modi incites his Hindu followers against Muslims in India. His followers restrict the Muslims and do not accept Muslims residing in their country of India. They restrict the Muslim daughters in schools in the matter of Islamic dress code.
2- News reports mention that Shehbaz Sharif offered to work with the generals, if he was elected. He stated that the country needed to move forward and overcome differences with the army. He had previously criticized the army in its coup against his older brother, the former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, in 1999. Shehbaz Sharif competed in the 2018 elections but lost out to Imran Khan. In December 2019, the National Accountability Bureau froze 23 properties owned by the Shehbaz and his son, charging them with money laundering. In September 2020, Shehbaz was arrested on charges of involvement in money laundering, but he was released in April 2021 on bail. So, his reconciliation with the army was one of the factors that allowed him to reach power.
3- Let us refer here to America’s rapid congratulations to Shehbaz Sharif, as its Secretary of State, Blinken, said, “The United States congratulates newly elected Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and we look forward to continuing our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan’s government.” (Sky News 4/14/2022). This confirms that America has accepted Shehbaz’s reconciliation with the army, as well as his pledge to implement American policy. It agreed to arrange his success in reaching power, after it had prevented both him and his brother Nawaz previously. Now the US has only agreed after Shehbaz is fully prepared to work with America, whilst he has reconciled with the army that is loyal to America!
4- The Voice of America (VOA) reported on 12/4/2022, that “Pakistan’s new government said Tuesday it would “constructively and positively” engage with the United States to promote “shared goals” of regional peace, security and development… “We welcome U.S. reaffirmation of long-standing ties with Pakistan,” Sharif’s office said in response to remarks by White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday in which she underscored the criticality of Washington’s ties with Islamabad regardless of its leader. “We look forward to deepening this important relationship on the principles of equality, mutual interest and mutual benefit,” the Pakistani statement said. On Monday, Psaki said the Biden administration supported the “peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principles” and does not support one political party over another in Pakistan. “We value our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan, have always viewed a prosperous and democratic Pakistan as critical to U.S. interests,” she said. Psaki said the “long, strong and abiding” relations will continue under new leaders in Islamabad.””
This confirms that America was behind the downfall of its former agent, Imran Khan, and the promotion of Shehbaz Sharif, who frankly declares his willingness to work with America, more vigorously than Imran Khan did!
Seventhly: These agents do not learn or reason. If America overthrows one of them, they rush to court the US and prepare to provide services to America, until they reach ruling. It defines them as being less than truly ideological political leaders, seeking only office. Shehbaz Sharif did not learn from America overthrowing his brother more than once, whilst both him and he were punished with exile. The Ummah needs principled politicians who adhere to an ideology, which is the ideology of the Ummah, Islam. Islam alone treats all matters in a radical and correct manner, whilst its politicians alone can save the Ummah, revive it and make it a superpower, not a country subjugated to America.
Indeed, Pakistan is qualified to be the support point of this great state, the Khilafah Rashidah (rightly guided Caliphate) State, by the permission of Allah (saw).
((إِنَّ فِي هَذَا لَبَلَاغاً لِقَوْمٍ عَابِدِينَ))
“Surely this is sufficient (as a reminder) for those devoted to worship.” [TMQ Surah Al-Anbiyyah 21:106]