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Donald Lu confirms allegations: Examining claims of Indian state terrorism in the US

The envoy to Islamabad transmitted a cipher containing Lu’s purported warning to the former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed. The PTI founder had claimed in the same letter that there was a US plot to topple his administration in 2022. Imran is on trial right now for improperly handling the same private material. Journalists from Pakistan and the US frequently bring up this topic during press briefings held by the US State Department. These accusations are often denied by the department as unfounded.

Understanding Donald Lu’s affirmation

Lu was questioned over the claims and his evaluation of them when testifying before a subcommittee of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The hearing was entitled Pakistan After the Elections, Examining the Future of Democracy in Pakistan and the US-Pakistan Relationship. Lu stated, I want to make this extremely clear. This conspiracy theory and the accusations it makes are false. It is an outright lie. 

I’ve seen the news coverage of this story, which is known as the “cipher” in Pakistan, and the purportedly leaked diplomatic cable from the local embassy. “That’s not true. It never once implies that I or the US government are taking action against Imran Khan. Thirdly, the other meeting participant, who was Pakistan’s ambassador to the US at the time, has attested to his own government that there was no plot. 

Allegations of state terrorism

While yells of “Free Imran Khan” could be heard, Lu was heckled by an observer who dubbed him a “liar” during his response. According to Lu, the US upholds Pakistan’s sovereignty and the idea that its people elect their own leaders in accordance with democratic principles. When he finished his retort, a boisterous crowd of hecklers greeted him, calling him a “liar.” Lu said that frequent threats of death against him and his family had resulted from the charges made against him throughout the previous two years. “I believe that occasionally some free speech has crossed the line into violent threats, which is unacceptable in our society. There is a line of acceptability,” he continued. 

In the meanwhile, a different US senator asked Lu if the US had requested that Imran be removed from office following his trip to Russia. Lu replied in the negative. When questioned about his supposed involvement in Pakistan’s “regime change” following the overthrow of the PTI government, Lu said, “I was absolutely not involved, nor were any Americans, in that process.”

Response and reactions

In response to Representative Gabe Amo’s questions regarding press freedom and social media access, Lu stated that one of the most “damaging things” he had seen was social media restrictions. Pakistanis are deprived of access to a diverse range of news reports that they are entitled to when the internet is blocked or X is throttled, as it has been doing for a few weeks. We are discussing these matters at the highest levels with the Pakistani administration. Rep. Brad Sherman questioned Lu in the meanwhile over “hundreds” of American citizens who, according to him, were blocked from leaving Pakistan after being placed on the Exit Control List. 

He questioned Lu about what the US was doing to free them given that they had not even been accused of a crime. Sherman interrupted Lu in response, stating, “We allow top generals in Pakistan to visit the US when American citizens can’t leave Pakistan and come to the US.” Lu said there were rules in place, but the US was pursuing the matter. Next is the voting tabulation process. The PTI’s emblem, the “bat,” and Imran Khan, the “batsman,” have been outlawed. The Pakistani elections have had some issues, but this is arguably the biggest one.

Implications and consequences

Lu expanded on the US State Department’s findings on the general elections in his speech at the Congress hearing. The attacks on law enforcement, politicians, and political gatherings by terrorist groups, the harassment and abuse of journalists, especially female journalists, by political party supporters, and the fact that “several political leaders were disadvantaged by the inability to register specific candidates and political parties” were among the “election abuses and violence that happened in the weeks leading up to the polls,” he said. On election day, he said, election observers claimed they were not allowed to watch the tallying of votes in “more than half of the constituencies across the country.” According to Lu, despite a high court injunction not to disrupt internet services on election day, officials nonetheless turned off mobile data access.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Over 60 million Pakistanis, including over 21 million women, cast ballots in spite of the danger of violence. Compared to 2018, voters elected 50% more women to the legislature.

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