Ouster of Imran Khan Will Not Change Strong China-Pakistan Ties
April 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—Sources in Pakistan told EIR that the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote in the Parliament Sunday morning (April 10) will not undermine Pakistan’s close and critical relationship with China. They report that despite his standing up against the U.S. threats following his refusal to join the anti-Russia sanctions, the failing economy (as everywhere) and corruption charges were used to garner adequate support for the opposition. But, the sources said, cooperation with China will not be undermined—the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a national project that will not be affected by change of governments. It existed before Imran Khan and will survive his fall. “China is a friend of Pakistan, not any political party, so change of any government does not impact the relationship,” one said. They added that the opposition Pakistan Muslim League, which will take over the government now, is even closer to China than Imran Khan.
Some close Pakistani contacts with positive relationship to China and backers of the CPEC had a strangely sober and calm attitude to the ousting of Imran Khan.
China concurs with that assessment. Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and a former Councilor to Pakistan for many years, said: “China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. History has proven time and again that China-Pakistan relations have always been unbreakable and rock-solid, no matter how the international landscape and their respective domestic situations may change.” An editorial in Global Times, titled “Futile for U.S. To Sow Discord between Pakistan and China,” quotes officials and scholars to the same effect.
Regarding Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan, the sources told EIR that the opposition is also close to the Taliban, but that in any case, these relations are handled by the military.