Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan attends the Refugee Summit Islamabad to mark 40 years of hosting Afghan refugee in Islamabad on February 17, 2020. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s anti-American rhetoric and his accusations against the US for conspiring to oust him from power is damaging the country’s relations with the west, according to an analysis.
Pakistan’s economy is already facing a huge challenge and the country often turns to Western-led multilateral financial institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Islamabad’s economic woes dictate that it should mend fences with the west as Khan had turned for help with the country’s economy to the Washington-based IMF, which has provided 22 bailouts to Pakistan since 1958, reported The Hill.
On the brink of default, Pakistan needs an inflow of USD 41 billion over the next year to pay back loans that are coming due and to keep afloat. Its economy still depends on a lifeline from the IMF, while Russia is in no position to help Pakistan, and China has adopted a wait-and-see approach.
Apart from that, the West also has significant influence over the money laundering and terror funding watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It is essentially crucial as the FATF continues to keep Pakistan on ‘Grey List’ for terrorist fundings.
Khan has been quite vociferous over Pakistan’s partnership with Russia however his assertions do not hold up under scrutiny.
In 2020, Pakistan’s exports to Russia stood at USD 279 million while imports from Russia amounted to USD 699 million. The same year, Pakistan exported USD 4 billion worth of goods to the U.S. and USD 6 billion to the EU. Last year, Pakistani exports to the U.S. reached USD 6.1 billion and to the EU amounted to USD 6.6 billion.
These numbers reveal the irrelevance of Khan’s ideological rhetoric about a renewed “freedom struggle” from western influence, as per the media portal.
Cricketer turned politician, Imran Khan’s bold statements regarding Washington’s role in an alleged “foreign conspiracy” to oust him from power could have a negative impact on bilateral ties and could make US officials more careful in interacting with Pakistan officials, diplomatic observers said.