The cable that was sent to Islamabad mentioning Donald Lu’s observation on Imran Khan’s Moscow visit was based on the notes taken by an embassy official who was present at the farewell lunch of former ambassador Asad Majeed.
The cable that former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan cited as evidence of a foreign conspiracy behind the no-confidence motion which toppled his government has an interesting background story that originated at a farewell lunch meet but ended with allegations of conspiracy, Dawn reported.
According to the Dawn report, the conversation among US officials and Pakistan’s then ambassador Asad Majeed, which later rattled the PTI government, took place on March 7 at Asad Majeed Khan’s residence known as Pakistan House. It was a farewell lunch for Asad Majeed but a note-taker whose job was to take notes from the exchange between the ambassador and the US officials was also present there. The cable that Majeed later sent to Islamabad was based on the notes taken by the notetaker of the Pakistan Embassy.
The discussion at the lunch party mostly revolved around the Russia-Ukraine crisis in the context of which the US side expressed ‘disappointment’ with Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow on the very day the war began, the report said. As Asad Majeed explained that the decision that Imran Khan would continue his planned Moscow visit was taken collectively as Pakistan was trying for a Moscow visit for years, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu said Washington believed that the final decision to go ahead with the visit rested with Imran Khan.
Then the conversation, according to the Dawn report, veered toward Pakistan’s situation. “Mr Lu pointed out that Washington was keenly watching the situation and the outcome of the no-trust move against the then prime minister would impact US-Pakistan relations as well,” the Dawn report said.
All this conversation was duly noted by the person who was taking the notes and then featured in the cable that Islamabad received from its embassy in Pakistan.
The Dawn report, citing sources, said though Donald Lu did not threaten a regime change, his arguments were “alarming and far from routine”.
While the White House dismissed all these allegations, Pakistan’s all-powerful military also denied the use of the word ‘conspiracy’. It said the statement issued by the National Security Committee of Pakistan did not mention ‘conspiracy’.
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