In terms of the bigger picture, the US’ attempt to overthrow Prime Minister Imran Khan represents its most powerful pushback against the emerging Multipolar World Order since its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan last August. The success of this operation could immediately destabilize the entire supercontinent, especially if the worst-case scenario comes to pass of a newly US-controlled Pakistan deliberately worsening relations with multipolar heavyweights China, India, and Russia, which not coincidentally are the core of this evolving world order.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing a no-confidence vote on Sunday engineered by the US and its local proxies as punishment for the incumbent’s independent foreign policy, especially with respect to his country’s rapid rapprochement with Russia. America intends to restore its declining regional hegemony after being rebuffed by India, which proudly defied the latest unprecedented attempts to turn it into a vassal state. Pakistan has always enjoyed close ties with the US and some figures within its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”, also known as “The Establishment” in Pakistani parlance) still support their former overlord. This domestic political context facilitated the US’ rolling regime change operation against Prime Minister Khan that’s being spearheaded by opposition leader Shebhaz Sharif.
Should it succeed, then the Pakistani “deep state” must ensure that this foreign power isn’t able to restore its control over their country’s foreign policy. The return to bloc politics that Sharif and his suspected patrons are advocating for would be disastrous for Pakistan’s objective national interests and also violate its newly promulgated National Security Policy that prohibits such an approach. Ties with China will likely become complicated as American proxies worsen them for self-interested political reasons connected to that declining hegemon’s strategic agenda. It’s entirely possible that Pakistan will politicize the purely economic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) seeing as how it’s the Belt & Road Initiative’s (BRI) flagship project and thus integral to the success of Beijing’s global initiative. That could in turn make Beijing more strategically dependent on related corridors through Central Asia.
Sharif’s insincere attempt to present himself as a so-called “super patriot” by condemning Prime Minister Khan’s pragmatic praise of India’s principled neutrality towards Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine suggests that he’ll potentially worsen ties with that country if he’s placed into power by his suspected foreign patron. Of course, a lot will depend on behind-the-scenes dynamics within the Pakistani “establishment” with respect to whether or not the pro-American faction will return to policymaking prominence, but it’s in America’s grand strategic interests to exploit that country as its regional proxy for punishing India. The US is concerned about the globally game-changing impact of the renewed Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership and might order its Pakistani proxies to worsen ties with their rival in response, possibly even going as far as to break the ceasefire that’s been in place for a year.
Regarding relations with Russia, they’ll almost certainly be sacrificed on the alter of American interests in the scenario of pro-US figures returning to power in Pakistan’s “deep state”. After all, it was largely due to the game-changing rapprochement between these two major countries that the US decided to commence its rolling regime change operation against Prime Minister Khan. The Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline and February 2021’s agreement to build a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway are multipolar flagship projects that stand to geostrategically revolutionize Eurasia upon their completion. So concerned is the US about those initiatives that its academia and media proxies like Michael Kugelman conspicuously ignored their importance, which suggested that they were told not to draw attention to them in order to obscure America’s role in the subsequent regime change operation.
In terms of the bigger picture, the US’ attempt to overthrow Prime Minister Khan represents its most powerful pushback against the emerging Multipolar World Order since its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan last August. The success of this operation could immediately destabilize the entire supercontinent, especially if the worst-case scenario comes to pass of a newly US-controlled Pakistan deliberately worsening relations with multipolar heavyweights China, India, and Russia, which not coincidentally are the core of this evolving world order. The only thing stopping this sequence of events is Prime Minister Khan himself and the patriotic members of his “establishment” who might hopefully retain policymaking continuity in the event that he’s overthrown after Sunday’s no-confidence vote.