Tuesday, May 10, 2022

President Alvi calls for thorough probe into alleged regime change conspiracy

President Arif Alvi writes letter to former PM Imran Khan, insisting an investigation into alleged regime change conspiracy

President Dr Arif Alvi. — AFP/File
President Dr Arif Alvi. — AFP/File 

  • President writes letter to former PM, insisting an investigation into alleged regime change conspiracy. 
  • President says that report in cypher included some statements made by Lu in quotes mentioning a "no-confidence motion".
  • Says he is sending letter to PM Shehbaz and CJP Bandial. 

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has called for a thorough probe into the alleged regime change conspiracy by recording circumstantial evidence to reach a logical conclusion and provide clarity to Pakistanis, a statement issued by the president's secretariat said Tuesday. 

According to the statement, the president wrote a letter to former prime minister Imran Khan, insisting that an investigation should be carried out into the matter. 

He wrote that he had read the copy of the cypher sent by the then ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. The cypher contained an official summary of a meeting held in the Pakistan Embassy between Donald Lu, US Assistant Secretary of State, along with another US official, the Pakistani ambassador, a note-taker, and other diplomats of the Pakistan Mission.

The president added that the report in the cypher included some statements made by Lu in quotes specifically mentioning a "no-confidence motion" against the former PM, and also mentioned "forgiveness" if it succeeded, and "dire consequences" if the said motion failed.

In the letter, President Alvi referred to the two meetings of the National Security Committee (NSC) that had endorsed that statements made by  Lu amounted to "unacceptable and blatant interference" in the internal affairs of Pakistan and its government had rightly issued a demarche.

The president also underscored that threats could both be covert and overt and in this particular case, it was clearly communicated in undiplomatic language. He noted that the PTI chairman had raised serious issues of possible covert reactions and ramifications of the threat.

The letter also said that the president was of the belief that for a sovereign nation and people, whose dignity had been deeply hurt, in-depth analysis and investigation must be carried out to inquire into what may or may not have been a preparation, starting before or following the overt threat, for a possible conspiracy to change Pakistan's regime. 

Highlighting the history of Pakistan — when people had alleged and strongly believed in many obvious but unproven conspiracies — the president cited the examples of the murder of the first PM of Pakistan Shaheed Liaquat Ali Khan in Rawalpindi, the Agartala Conspiracy case, former PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s public waving of a letter and allegation of a conspiracy against him, former president Ziaul Haq’s plane crash, Ojheri disaster, Abbottabad Conspiracy case, and many others that remained inconclusive.

The president said: "Sometimes top-secret archives that were declassified after decades, or revelations by informed people, or documents that had emerged in ‘leaks’, did provide a ‘smoking gun’ kind of link to events and conspiracies on the world stage."

He regretted that it happened much later, after the destinies of those countries had been significantly damaged by such illegal interventions.

President Alvi also emphasised that proving a "smoking gun" had been identified ‘in the hand of a conspirator’, or finding a possible money trail or identifying meetings where people had been motivated towards covert action or where people had been bought and sold, would be a vigorous exercise. He stated that even recorded circumstantial evidence could lead the way towards some conclusions and provide closure to the people of Pakistan who deserved clarity.

Underscoring the need for a full investigation into the matter, he informed Imran Khan that he was sending his letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as well as to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, requesting that the latter may constitute an empowered Judicial Commission to conduct open hearings in this regard.