WASHINGTON: Former prime minister Imran Khan repeated his claims on Mon­day that the United States had orchestrated his ouster and urged Washington to sack the official who allegedly demanded his removal.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Mr Khan claimed that in the next elections his Tehreek-i-Insaf “will be the biggest party in Pakistan’s history”.

He said that whenever elections were held, people would vote for his party because they “are so incensed and feel insulted that these criminals [current rulers] have been foisted upon us”.

CNN recalled Mr Khan had repeatedly claimed that Donald Lu, the Assistant Secretary for the US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, had met Pakistan’s then ambassador to Washington in March and told him that he should be dismissed from power in the confidence vote. Mr Khan suggested in the interview that Mr Lu be fired for interfering in Pakistan’s domestic politics, and “for bad manners and sheer arrogance”.

Mr Lu, however, not only retains his position but as head of the State Depart­ment’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, also attended the last week’s meeting between Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In the interview, Mr Khan repeated his claim that Mr Lu had threatened “Pakistan will suffer consequences” unless he was removed from power.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2022

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