Imran Khan whipping up anti West sentiment among Pakistanis living abroad can lead to dangerous consequences – ANALYSIS

Since being ousted out of power some three weeks ago, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly targeted the United States and the West for being responsible for his ouster.

On Monday, he once again took to the microblogging website Twitter to post tweets demanding answers directly from the US President Joe Biden’s administration over his ouster and calling upon the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to form a judicial commission to probe the US-backed conspiracy to oust his government.

In one of the tweets Khan said: “Clearly, the US wants an obedient puppet as PM who will not allow Pak choice of neutrality in a European war; a PM who will be obedient to US demands; who will not sign agreements with Russia & who will downgrade our strategic r’ship with China. If a PM asserts Pak’s sovereignty & an indep[endent] foreign policy he will be removed & a subservient, crooked PM like Shahbaz Sharif will be brought in.”

Khan has always resonated with Pakistanis living abroad and following such anti-Western rhetoric, several Pakistanis across the globe have come out in large numbers to denounce the involvement of the United States and the West in Pakistan, and have threatened to march towards US embassies around the world, as witnessed in the street agitations organized in London, United Kingdom.

Overseas Pakistanis have also been posting videos showing them tearing or setting fire to green passports. In one such recent video (reportedly from the United States) which went viral, three men can be seen burning Pakistani passports in a barbeque grill and condemning the removal of Imran Khan, calling it a Western conspiracy.

In the UK, protests were held in London, Bradford, Glasgow, Manchester and Nottingham. Reportedly, in a video message on social media, Imran Khan’s UK spokesperson Sahibzada Jahangir urged PTI supporters to march to the US embassy in London and protest against the foreign interference by America.

Similar protests have been witnessed in the US, France, Germany and several Gulf countries in the Middle East.

In one such protest in Saudi Arabia, several Pakistanis shouted slogans at the current Pakistani government’s entourage when they were visiting Masjid e Nabvi – the main mosque in Medina city considered as one of the holiest sites for Muslims. Following this protest, Imran Khan and his political party’s leadership in Pakistan are now being prosecuted by the Pakistani state for orchestrating such a move and therefore committing blasphemy, as they desecrated the sanctity of the holy mosque by raising abusive slogans there. In Medina, few of the organizers have also been arrested and are expected to pay heavy fines and spend time in prison before being deported.

Interestingly, when Khan was in power (and even before him becoming the PM), he used blasphemy laws to his advantage against his political opponents and also led an international campaign over Islamophobia, denouncing blasphemous cartoons published by the French media.

Such Islamist radicalization by Khan and now by the new government, along with the whipping of anti Western-sentiment is a dangerous game that Pakistani politicians are playing, as it will only lead to common Pakistani at home and abroad taking laws in their own hands, and ending up in trouble with local and foreign authorities.

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