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The Intercept: U.S. State Dept. Pushed for Pakistan’s Now-Imprisoned Ex-PM Imran Khan to Be Removed

HeadlineAug 10, 2023

In Pakistan, the imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan has filed an appeal days after he was sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges. Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Election Commission barred Khan from politics for five years. Pakistan’s Parliament removed Khan from office in April 2022.

On Wednesday, The Intercept revealed the existence of a classified Pakistani cable that outlined how the U.S. State Department had encouraged the Pakistani government to remove Khan from office in March 2022, just weeks after Russia had invaded Ukraine. The document stated the U.S objected to Khan’s neutral stance on the war. According to the memo, one State Department official warned Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States that “all will be forgiven in Washington” if Khan is removed. The U.S. official, Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu, then went on to say, “Otherwise, I think it will be tough going ahead.”

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