In a second leaked audio from former Prime Minister Imran Khan related to encryption, Imran can be heard telling Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and his then Principal Secretary Azam Khan that no one should name the United States (US) when discussing the transcript from Pakistan. Ambassador’s meeting with US official Donald Lu. In the first audio leak, Imran Khan and Azam Khan had decided to “play” with encryption. The second leaked audio seems to suggest that Imran knew exactly what the cipher was – the details of a routine meeting – but decided to label it as a foreign plot for “regime change”. To most observers, it is abundantly clear now, if not before, that Imran paid little heed to the risk he posed to Pakistan’s relationship with the superpower. All this for a desperate – but cleverly turned – political program.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with this newspaper, US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome categorically said there is no truth to the regime change claims, calling the theories ‘unfortunate’. of the plot. On the Pakistani side, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the United States not to view relations with Pakistan through the prism of Afghanistan or China, stressing that ties between the two countries should be self-sustaining. After Imran Khan’s allegations of a US-backed regime change plot, relations between Pakistan and the United States had suffered a severe blow and it was important that the new government restore these relations because the State of Pakistan should not – and cannot afford – to suffer. due to the irresponsible political shenanigans of an angry politician under political defeat.
US-Pakistan relations have returned to the forefront for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the commemoration of 75 years of ties between the two countries. Audio leaks tied to the PTI’s “foreign conspiracy” mantra have once again put the US in the spotlight. While the PDM government seems eager to restore ties, asking that “the past is over”, the US envoy also hinted at a new era of bilateral relations. Ambassador Blome also said that all investments in Pakistan, whether American or Chinese, should be transparent and subject to the same scrutiny. Foreign policy analysts in Pakistan have repeatedly said that the country and its leaders must maintain the strictest balance when dealing with the world’s emerging superpowers. In this context, it was encouraging to hear Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s speech that not everything is about the geopolitical conflict between the United States and China and that Pakistan should play the role of bridge between China and the United States, rather than playing a role in heightening tensions or “being geopolitical football”. Pakistan must indeed focus on what is really needed in this time of great geopolitical division, and perhaps insist on the approach suggested by Mr. Bhutto: “to unite these two great powers around a collaboration for the change climatic”. Pakistan and China have a strong relationship and Pakistan has always tried to maintain a balance between its ties with the United States and its immediate neighbor China. While the United States is a global superpower and has interests in the region, including over Afghanistan, Pakistan has made it clear that it will not take sides against China under any pressure. The country must continue to seek common ground in this battle between the megapowers. We cannot afford either isolation or submission to a single party.