Pakistan’s Imran Khan U-turns on US conspiracy theory: ‘As far as I’m concerned it is over’ OLD

Imran Khan on Sunday said that he no longer “blamed” the US for his ouster from power, after months of propogating the theory that a foreign conspiracy led to his being removed as prime minister.

Mr Khan lost a vote of no confidence in Pakistan’s parliament in April this year, and has since claimed that the process was the result of a conspiracy between Shehbaz Sharif, the current prime minister, and the United States.

Asked about the conspiracy theory in an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Khan said that “as far as I’m concerned it is over, it’s behind me”.

“Our relationship with the US has been as of a master-servant relationship, or a master-slave relationship, and we’ve been used like a hired gun. But for that I blame my own governments more than the US,” the paper quoted the former prime minister as saying.

The US has previously rejected the former cricketer’s allegations of a plot in Washington to overthrow his government, with officials saying there was “absolutely no truth” to these claims.

The deputy State Department spokesperson Jalina Porter said in April: “Let me just say very bluntly there is absolutely no truth to these allegations.

“Of course, we continue to follow these developments, and we respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and rule of law. But again, these allegations are absolutely not true,” she said.

Mr Khan first disclosed a letter that he alleged contained a threat to the Pakistan government from the US at a public rally in Islamabad on 27 March, when he was scrambling to stay in office.

On Sunday Mr Khan expressed his desire to have a “dignified” relationship with Washington if re-elected.

Earlier this month, Mr Khan was shot multiple times in the leg while he was leading a march through the country to call for early elections. He has alleged that he has evidence which proves that the current prime minister, Mr Sharif plotted with senior civilian and military officials to kill him.

In October, Mr Khan was barred from holding public office for five years by the country’s Election Commission after he was found guilty of “corrupt practices”, an announcement that triggered major protests from his supporters and party.

Separately, Mr Khan admitted in the FT interview that a visit to Moscow a day before the Ukraine invasion in February was “embarrassing” but said the trip was organised months in advance.