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“I am saying to you today, that for the first time, Pakistan’s policies won’t be for the few rich people, it will be for the poor, for our women, for our minorities, whose rights are not respected. My whole aim will be to protect our lower classes and to bring them up.”
– Imran Khan, 2018 election campaign speech 
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)
In the early hours of April 9, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, faced a no-confidence motion in the country’s National Assembly resulting in his removal from power. This was the first time ever that an official of his stature was removed in such a manner. 
What makes this move so geopolitically significant was the unique significance of this state as a square on the tabletop of the grand chessboard between the United States, and Russia and China.
On the one hand, Pakistan has traditionally used the country’s military and the intelligence services, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), as partners. Over the course of the last twenty years, the Islamic State was a leading local site from which to launch air and ground operations in favor of America’s War on Terrorism. And as Michel Chossudovsky wrote back at the time of the infamous September 11th terrorist attacks, the ISI played a key role in acting as a “go-between” between the CIA and the Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan going back to 1979. This would in large part lead to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. 
On the other hand, Pakistan has gained partners both in Russia and in China. There was a vital 1100km gas pipeline project between Lahore and Karachi in which the goods would be provided from Russia. And in November of 2014, Russia and Pakistan signed a defense cooperation pact followed by a military-technical cooperation agreement all of which would serve toward “Strengthening of mutual trust and international security, counter-terrorist and arms control activities.” 
And then there was China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, which would ultimately help undermine dependence on the Strait of Malacca and building a conduit between China and West Asia and the Middle East. 
These alliances have been tightening under the new leader Khan. On the same night Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the Ukraine intervention, Khan had been meeting with him to discuss a wide variety of subjects including economic and energy cooperation. He did not announce a formal disapproval of the intervention in Ukraine then, nor did he do it when he returned home. 
Did Khan then cross the rubicon and slot himself in the bad books of Washington? Maybe it’s a coincidence, but in the lead-up to the National Assembly vote of no confidence, Prime Minister Khan cited the following quote of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu as evidence the U.S. was behind this move:
“If Prime Minister Imran Khan remained in office, then Pakistan will be isolated from the United States and we will take the issue head on; but if the vote of no-confidence succeeds, all will be forgiven.” 
Was this yet another plot of regime change by the United States? And how would the people coming out in unprecedented number in support of their removed Prime Minister prevail in his return to power? We will examine these questions on this edition of the Global Research News Hour.
In Part One of our series, we will talk to Professor Junaid Ahmad, who has a background in Pakistan about the details of the coup, the reasons for Khan to go, and the resulting push back from the people of Pakistan. And in our second half hour, we present a repeat broadcast from October of 2012 of an interview with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, founder/director of the Centre for Research on Globalization. His talk mostly deals with Afghanistan and 9/11, although he touches also on Pakistan’s then pivotal role in the military-intelligent quagmire surrounding the whole affair.
Junaid S. Ahmad teaches Religion, Law, and Politics and is the Director of the Center for the Study of Islam and Decoloniality. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of thirteen books including The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity (2015), and the international best America’s “War on Terrorism” Second Edition (2005). He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.
(Global Research News Hour Episode 354)
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‘Imran Khan’s speech in full’ (July 26, 2018), Al Jazeera;
No-Trust Motion: Imran Khan Becomes First Prime Minister To Be Voted Out Of Power (April 10, 2022), The Nation; https://nation.com.pk/2022/04/10/no-trust-motion-imran-khan-becomes-first-prime-minister-to-be-voted-out-of-pow/