Imran Khan’s U-turn: No longer blaming US for his ouster as PM

 The former prime minister of Pakistan has often blamed Washington for his humiliation and political downfall.

After accusing the United States of plotting to oust him from power in April, Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has signaled that he is ready to repair relations with the country's longtime nemesis.

For my part, that chapter of my life is closed and closed forever. In an interview published by the Financial Times on Saturday, he added, "The Pakistan I want to lead must have excellent connections with everyone, notably the United States.

The 70-year-old leader has both praised the US and criticized Pakistan's relationship with the country, saying he is eager to cooperate with the US if re-elected and that he wants a "dignified" relationship with the US.

We've been used by the United States like a hired gun, and our relationship with them is like to that of a master and servant. Nonetheless, he said, he held his own governments more responsible than the United States.

Al Jazeera has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad for comment on Khan's new conciliatory words, but has not heard back as of yet.

Khan has blamed the United States and Pakistan's formidable military establishment, along with his political opponents, for his removal as prime minister in April following a vote of no confidence in parliament.

Nothing he has said has ever been backed up by proof. Both Islamabad and the United States have refuted the allegations.

While spearheading a protest march on the capital demanding early elections on November 3, Khan was shot in the leg in Wazirabad city, in the eastern province of Punjab. The current session of the National Assembly will conclude in October 2023.

After the shooting, Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party resumed their long march from Lahore to the capital, Islamabad. While he can't be there in person, he nevertheless sends a message every night to his followers.

Shortly after his assassination, Khan gave an interview to the Financial Times in which he argued that holding early elections was the only way to restore political stability and that delaying their holding would lead to further economic disruption.

Analyst Mosharraf Zaidi of the Tabadlab think-tank in Islamabad said that Khan's retreat from the US conspiracy idea was inevitable, despite the fact that Khan's popularity has often risen in response to his anti-American comments.

Khan has previously utilized "he knows to be incorrect to thrill his audience" populist tropes, as noted by Zaidi.

The US angle in his conspiracy theory allowed him to target the military leadership without actually assaulting it, Zaidi told Al Jazeera, which is why the issue has just come to light.

As the gloves are being taken off between him and General Bajwa [Pakistan army head Qamar Javed Bajwa], the benefit of keeping up the US facade is dwindling.

Despite Washington being Islamabad's primary security and economic partner, relations between the two countries have cooled over the past decade.

As one of the United States' most important allies in its "war on terror" in Afghanistan, Pakistan has benefited from more than $30 billion in aid over the past 20 years.

Rather than being anti-American, Khan, according to a top PTI source, was only criticising US policy.

"Imran Khan has never been an anti-American politician, and his message has never been anti-America," said Asad Umar.

According to his political philosophy, U.S. policy is never in our region's best interest or consistent with American ideals. Umar told Al Jazeera that, "to take his words in perspective, a very clear distinction needs to be drawn" in reference to the critic's criticism.

Observer Zaidi thinks Khan "will continue to play one game with his fans and another with publications like as the FT [Financial Times] because his core audience is his populism-vulnerable supporter."

As he said, "Once he gets power... he can always walk back the absurd and blatantly inaccurate master-slave type storylines.


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