Said Naqvi | Can Imran do in Pakistan what Erdogan did in Turkey?

A foreign policy independent of America is difficult for countries where the elite has herded its offspring into the United States. In Pakistan, this elite will gouge out Imran Khan’s eyes if his anti-Americanism persists. This elite is influential, but numerically small. Imran decided to ignore this coterie and tap directly into people’s anger over decades of Islamophobia, especially since the 9/11 wars.

His role model is Turkey‘s Recep Tayyip Erodgan, who stopped US troops from crossing into Turkey for the Iraqi occupation in 2003. Anti-Americanism, which had been simmering since the televised brutalities of the Bosnian war, erupted and the rise of Mr. Erdogan has become unstoppable. It was no small feat. His popular ratings surpassed the founder of the Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The army, guarantor of the secular constitution of Atatürk, was regularly undermined by popular power. Today Turkey is like any other Muslim country.

Anti-Americanism is a surefire election trick in a Muslim country that harbors a deep grievance against the United States. Pakistan was dragged into the war in Afghanistan by the United States, where it lost 80,000 lives.

Did the Ukrainian winds fan the flames in Islamabad? That regime change was initiated by America is Imran Khan’s chosen narrative. Does the predicament Imran finds himself in have anything to do with his two-day official visit to Moscow from February 24, the day the Russians invaded Ukraine. The high-stakes game in which the Americans were leading the West made it important for them to prove that Imran was on the wrong side of history.

The message was simple: Imran must move away from the Sino-Russian embrace. This embrace hampers the outline of the world order and any American action in Afghanistan. It was infuriating for the United States that the Kazakh venture failed in January, ironically, when Russia intervened. It’s a cruel confession to make, but this war is not about Ukraine. Unfortunately, Ukrainian blood was bought with Western treasury – cash and weapons. The incredible handling of the media has been breathtaking – bringing Volodymyr Zelenskyy to life in every European Parliament, and even at the Grammy Awards.

Some of the West’s war aims are simple: to maintain Anglo-American dominance in the world order; preserve the centrality of NATO in this order; keep Russia in the center of attention as a weakened pariah in Ukraine for as long as possible. The West has kittens while China and Russia have declared that their friendship “has no limits”. They must be separated; it is American policy.

This mindset manifested itself even when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia persuaded the Americans to end what was an existential threat to the House of Saud and Israel, namely Iran. To target Iran, the “Shiite arc” – Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas – had to be dismantled. This is how the Syrian expedition began. “Step aside, Assad,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waved imperiously. Has Assad gone? Did the US reach a status of forces agreement with Iraq after the Stars and Stripes were ‘locked down’ on December 31, 2011? The ignominious exit from Afghanistan in August will not be soon forgotten. This after 20 years of occupation. So, it’s do or die in Ukraine.

Liz Truss, British Foreign Minister, cheerleader for “democracy against autocracy”, is she satisfied with the results of the elections in Hungary and Serbia, neighbors of Ukraine? Viktor Orban and Aleksandar Vucic are both self-proclaimed “illiberals”. The specter of Marine Le Pen haunts France. On the other side of the world, a veritable theater of the absurd is being played out, produced and directed by the United States and Great Britain. In a moment of pique bordering on desperation, Washington, unable to sideline or digest duly-elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, launched a parallel presidency and chose 38-year-old Juan Guaido as president. Apart from the United States and the United Kingdom, no European country is part of this side show.

Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first leftist, anti-World Bank indigenous president, was replaced by an ideological look-alike, Luis Arce. Was 35-year-old socialist Gabriel Boric’s success in Chile an improvement over military dictator Augusto Pinochet, whom the CIA installed after killing the popular Salvador Allende, a friend of one of the world’s greatest poets, Pablo Neruda?

Colombia, groomed by the United States as its pocket borough for decades, has emerged from its suffocation. At the irreversible head is another socialist, a former guerrilla leader, Gustavo Petro. Peruvian President Pedro Castillo is described as an extreme left socialist. Is all this a march of democracy or autocracy? A battle royale is scheduled in Brazil in October, where Lula da Silva will take on Jair Bolsonaro, known for ignoring the Covid-19 pandemic, scorching the Amazon patch by patch and being India’s Republic Day chief guest. in 2020. Ms Close is congratulated on seeing Edge of Democracy, a masterful documentary about how Lula, the country’s most popular politician, was dethroned by global corporate intrigue.

How do proponents of democracy in this format approach developments in Pakistan? The main accusation against Imran Khan was that he mismanaged the economy, his team selection was poor and he was self-righteous and arrogant. Those who stood against him proved cases of corruption against them.

Obviously, these groups, with a possible signal from the army, inflated their numbers of defectors, and demanded a vote of no confidence. Imran Khan selectively showed the minutes of a conversation between the Pakistani Ambassador in Washington and Donald Lu, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, which appears to suggest that the US want Pakistan to side “or else”. Will this revelation end up helping Imran, or is it an albatross around his neck, given the hostile elite?

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