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Pakistan's Ex-Premier Khan's Party Denies Saudi Arabia's Role In His Ouster

17.04.2024 17:57

Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf's leader accused Riyadh of conspiring with US to oust Imran Khan’s government in 2022.

A close aide of Pakistan's jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Saudi Arabia of conspiring to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in 2022, a claim his party dismissed on Wednesday.

Sher Afzal Marwat, a flamboyant lawmaker from PTI, in a talk show at local broadcaster Aaj News on Tuesday, charged that Saudi Arabia and the US jointly played a role in the ouster of the Khan government in April 2022.

He also accused Riyadh of being a "puppet of US President Joe Biden" and of furthering American interests in the region.

His remarks coincided with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan's two-day visit to Islamabad to discuss ways of implementing an already promised $5 billion investment in Pakistan.

He further alleged that the Saudi investment and aid received by the Shehbaz Sharif government is "part of a larger scheme aimed at sabotaging the (then) PTI government."

Khan, who is facing a host of criminal and corruption cases, and has been convicted in multiple cases, was ousted through a no-trust vote.

He accused Washington of ousting his government, a charge the latter denied time and again.

Riyadh has nothing to do with 'regime change'

A PTI spokesperson, in a statement, dismissed Marwat's allegations, saying that Riyadh had nothing to do with the conspiracy of "regime change."

"The PTI and its leader Imran Khan have a great respect for Saudi Arabia. Relationship between Imran Khan and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is based on respect, trust and brotherhood," the statement said, adding that Marwat's remarks are neither based on "reality nor do they represent the PTI's policy."

The spokesperson said that decades-long "brotherly" relations between Riyadh and Islamabad are based on "multi-pronged mutual interests", and the PTI will continue to play its role to further strengthen them. -

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