May 11, 2022
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Imran Khan against “imported government”

With a new prime minister, Shahbaz Sharif, old problems are returning to Pakistan, and in the current geopolitical context, they may turn out to be more serious than before. The Pakistani rupee has not been stable lately, and it is unlikely that it will be possible to save the economy from inflation and recession now, as the effects of the restrictions due to the coronavirus are superimposed by the effect of the Ukrainian conflict – supply chains are being broken, and the new government is afraid of restrictive measures from the United States. In addition, Pakistan is blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the additional pressure caused by Pakistan’s ties to Russia is undesirable for Islamabad. Pakistan bought a record amount of grain from Russia last year. It was planned to continue purchasing grain this year, along with the purchase of petroleum products. The example of India shows how it is possible to conduct a competent policy in this area, defending the interests of the country. The reason for the vote of no confidence in former Prime Minister Imran Khan – his pro-Russian position – is known to almost everyone in Pakistan. The former prime minister himself, after his resignation, held several mass rallies in major cities of Pakistan. There has been a surge of anti-Americanism in the country and the new authorities will have to deal with it. The demarcation between the new opposition and the government could lead to clashes in the near future. Imran Khan’s speeches in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar gathered crowds of thousands of his supporters. The former prime minister introduced a new term – “imported government” and said he would not tolerate it remaining in power. The military has not yet directly intervened in the conflict. Meanwhile, internal security is being tested. On April 26, a terrorist attack was carried out in Karachi. A female suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at a bus stop at the entrance to the Confucius Institute, killing two Chinese teachers and a minibus driver. The Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist group based in the southwestern province of Balochistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, claimed responsibility for the explosion. For the militants of this organization, Chinese citizens are the target; in Gwadar there is a deep water port built as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, this port is run by the Chinese. Previously, Chinese workers were attacked in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by the Pakistani Taliban * (banned in Russia). The country has a complex ethnic situation. So, the Balochistan People’s Party was part of the government with Imran Khan’s Movement for Justice, but then supported his resignation. Nevertheless, the new authorities are carrying out detentions of ethnic Baloch students throughout the country. A wake-up call is how the Pakistani military is performing in neighboring Afghanistan. On April 15, the Pakistan Air Force attacked refugee camps in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Khost in the east of the country. Islamabad claims that the Taliban are using these camps to train militants who carry out terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The incident with the refugee camps hit the relations between the two countries, which were built with great difficulty during the reign of Imran Khan. In April, Education Minister of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Nurullah Munir, said that each province would have a large madrasah, and three to ten small madrasahs in each district. This means that the radicalization of Afghan youth in the Islamic spirit will increase, the consequences of which we will see not only in Afghanistan, but also in Iran and Pakistan, and possibly in the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia. The Saudi-based International Institute for Iranian Studies has already noted that Imran Khan’s departure from the post of prime minister will negatively affect Iranian-Pakistani ties. Relations with Pakistan’s main partners such as China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are likely to remain unchanged. The correction of the Iranian direction is connected, in particular, with the pronounced pro-Iranian position of Shirin Mazari, who was Imran Khan’s confidant and adviser on foreign policy. Pakistani-Iranian ties under Imran Khan allowed launching a number of economic projects, including the construction of a railway line of goods, as well as jointly solving border problems. Under the new government, the interaction between Pakistan and Iran, if it does not come to naught, it will be slowed down. But in the last days of April, Shahbaz Sharif, ignoring neighboring Iran, made a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials. Apparently, a request was made for financial assistance from Riyadh. Photo:

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