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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Like ZAB, is there an int’l conspiracy against PM Khan?

PM Khan believes that his refusal to buckle under Western pressure has led to an international conspiracy against him in the face of a no-confidence motion by the Opposition. Former president and prime minister ZAB also voiced similar statements. Here is a comparison of the two prime minister's statements.

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According to PM Khan, there is an international conspiracy in play against him to topple him from the government. This is not the first time a prime minister of Pakistan voiced the narrative. Former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (from 1973 to 1977) also accused foreign powers of hatching plots against his government.

Regarding this, one of Pakistan’s leading journalists Arshad Sharif provided an analogy between PM Khan’s statement and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s statements for his program on Ary News. Interestingly, PM Khan’s current statements are very similar to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s (ZAB).

To clarify, PM Khan has been a staunch critic of Western powers. He recently lashed out at EU diplomats for urging Pakistan to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Another memorable example is when PM Khan refused to host any US bases in Pakistan.

Read more: Pakistan in awe of PM Khan’s strong words to EU envoys

Furthermore, the Opposition heavily criticizes PM Khan for his stance against the West, especially the US. According to the Opposition, due to PM Khan’s statements, many countries have turned against Pakistan.

As a result, PM Khan believes that his refusal to buckle under Western pressure has led to an international conspiracy against him in the face of a no-confidence motion by the Opposition.

Comparison of statements

Former PM Bhutto said the cause of the people is more important than personal vested interests. Similarly, PM Khan said the country should make a foreign policy serving the interest of its people.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in one of his public rallies, slammed the opposing alliance during his time (Pakistan National Alliance). He accused them of cooperating with foreign powers and compromising Pakistan’s sovereignty. This is a narrative that PM Khan also voices.

On India, both ZAB and PM Khan urged neighborly relations. Both the prime ministers said Pakistan is ready to embark on friendly ties with India if the latter makes an effort as well.

Read more: Pakistan India agree to share Basmati rice ownership

Furthermore and interestingly, both the prime ministers even hold the same stance on “neutrality”.

“There is no such animal as a neutral animal. You take positions,” Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had said.

Similarly, PM Khan, while addressing a public gathering at Dir Scouts ground in Balambat area in Lower Dir district, said, “only animals are neutral.”

The prime minister said animals do not distinguish between good and evil. “Humans act according to their conscience. And only animals remain neutral,” he said. While PM Khan’s words may be slightly different, he was also asserting that as humans, we have to take sides based on our conscience. To clarify, these statements were made regarding Pakistan’s foreign policy.

While it remains unclear whether there really is an international conspiracy or not, PTI has on numerous occasions voiced that there is. In fact, SAPM Dr. Shahbaz Gill even outlined the chain of events after PM Khan’s “Absolutely Not”.

Dr. Shahbaz Gill said foreign officials began meeting Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, and major opposition leaders. Moreover, Bilawal Bhutto even went to the US. Later, the Opposition announced to topple the government and finally brought in the no-trust move.