Analysing Rana Sanaullah’s Speculation That India Wants To Assassinate Imran Khan

Analysing Rana Sanaullah’s Speculation That India Wants To Assassinate Imran Khan

By Andrew Korybko

To be absolutely clear, this analysis is based on educated inferences influenced by an interpretation of the trends that have thus far been identified. It shouldn’t be misconstrued as a confident prediction about the future of Pakistan’s political crisis. All that’s known for sure is that Sanaullah’s speculation about India plotting to assassinate Imran Khan contradicts that state’s interests, comes off as self-interested gaslighting, and thus raises suspicions about his own side’s intentions.

Sanaullah’s Ominous Speculation

Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah strongly implied that India is conspiring to assassinate former Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to him:

“It’s tragic that this man (Imran), this unblessed man, has brought the country to a stage where if he exits or something happens to him, he will be a source of chaos, anarchy and evildoing for the country. Every enemy and every enemy agency of Pakistan are after his (Imran’s) life. If something happens (to Imran) – may it not be so and I pray for his long life – then the finger would be pointed at the Pakistan Army, the ISI, myself, and the prime minister because he has already got four names taped.”

His speculation comes after Imran Khan blamed specific elements within The Establishment, including Sanaullah, for plotting the failed assassination attempt against him earlier in the month.

Background Briefing

The following four pieces provide background to the complex sequence of events leading up to this point:

* 22 June: “Pakistan’s Regime Change Operation: A Russian Perspective

* 14 October: “Pakistan: Criticizing COAS = ‘Inciting Mutiny’ But Wanting To Hang The Former PM = ‘Free Speech

* 4 November: “The Assassination Attempt Against Imran Khan Exposes The Establishment’s Dirty Game

* 21 November: “Four Reasons To Suspect That Something Serious Is Going On Behind The Scenes In Pakistan

Sanaullah’s speculation will now be analysed in the larger context of Pakistan’s political crisis, especially in light of the last-mentioned insight shared above pointing to serious infighting in The Establishment.

Establishment Infighting

The ousted premier vowed to resume his Long March on 26 November after confirming that the post-modern coup regime reached out to him via the President to discuss resolving their political issues, though a member of the ruling coalition denied that any such outreach was made. In any case, former Prime Minister Khan said that he won’t engage with them until they announce the date for early elections like his millions of supporters have peacefully demanded over the past seven months.

Sunday’s double bombshells of a detailed report implicating outgoing Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa in a massive anti-corruption scheme and a PMLN whistle-blower claiming to have evidence that London-based party chief Nawaz Sharif ordered the assassinations of Imran Khan and famous independent journalist Arshad Sharif suggest that the multipolar school of thought in The Establishment is pushing back against the ruling pro-American one’s resistance to the abovementioned rumoured talks.

The multipolar school, whose influence was immensely (but nevertheless not completely) curtailed following the pro-American one’s post-modern coup, is presumably in support of announcing the date for free and fair elections as early as possible following the new COAS’ appointment that’s likely to come this week. The pro-American school is adamantly against this, however, either because the US hasn’t ordered those talks or because they “went rogue” after it demanded that they organize them.

Two Possible Explanations

Regarding the first scenario, it was explained in the last two earlier cited pieces that the increasing risk of large-scale civil unrest in Pakistan provoked by the genuinely unpopular imported government’s refusal to organize free and fair elections as early as possible threatens America’s regional interests. That outcome could lead to the bloody imposition of martial law, which would destabilize, discredit, and ultimately isolate Pakistan, thus foiling the US’ plans to exploit it for strategically reorienting South Asia.

It therefore follows that the US might have seriously countenanced exploring the only credible pressure valve for averting that worst-case scenario, which is to demand that its proxies comply with the people’s democratic demands. The second scenario, however, posits that the multipolar school unilaterally ordered the post-modern coup regime to reach out to Prime Minister Khan without the US’ knowledge. In that interpretation, the US would have yet to properly assess how close Pakistan is to full-scale chaos.

As could be expected, this scenario suggests that it ordered the pro-American school to put a stop to those talks, though the multipolar one would have pushed back in response by publishing the corruption report against COAS Bajwa at the same time as having the PMLN whistle-blower go forward. Those two developments were long in the making and likely intended as backup/contingency plans, but were released on Sunday in order to discredit the pro-US school’s top military and political figures.

Sanaullah’s speculation one day later hinting at India’s alleged intentions to assassinate former Prime Minister Khan should therefore actually be seen as an implied threat by the pro-US school that he represents. Prior to explaining the reason behind this conclusion, it’s important to address the core of his insincerely expressed concern, namely that Pakistan’s top foe will exploit its political crisis for the purpose of implicating The Establishment via a false flag plot in order to throw the country into chaos.

India’s Actual Interests

While there presumably exist some hardliners in its intelligence services who might fantasize about that scenario, just like every country’s spy agencies have similar such radicals, it’s extremely unlikely that India would seriously consider doing so. First, India has finally become a globally significant Great Power, the reasons for which can be read about in detail herehereherehere, and here since they’re beyond the scope of the present analysis.

This impressive achievement requires regional stability in order for everything to remain on course. Assassinating Imran Khan, pinning the blame on The Establishment, and thus catalysing the earlier described sequence of expected events culminating in unprecedented chaos in that giant country of over 220 million people right on its most sensitive border would therefore be counter to its interests. The cross-border consequences, even if only limited to humanitarian ones, would risk derailing its rise.

Second, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies are world-class professionals so they’d be expected to quickly unearth any Indian trace to that speculative plot if there truly was one. In response, The Establishment would react either symmetrically or asymmetrically, but India would certainly have to brace for a major impact that could be equally destabilizing. It doesn’t want to risk that happening either, though, since that scenario could risk derailing its rise as a globally significant Great Power too.

Third, Pakistan has fallen so far behind India since the post-modern coup due to the profound economic crisis that this regime change catalysed that Delhi doesn’t have to do anything nefarious to keep its competitive edge over Islamabad. The US-orchestrated post-modern coup crippled Pakistan’s geostrategic potential so much that it served India’s interests without intending to. Delhi is nowadays so confident in its region that it can defy Washington’s anti-Russian demands without serious consequence.

Two Weaponized Infowar Narratives

That said, no misguided Pakistani patriot should fall under the false impression that it would be in their country’s interests for The Establishment to assassinate former Prime Minister Khan and then blame it on India in an attempt to reverse their top foe’s rise as a globally significant Great Power. The self-inflicted damage that this would cause their beloved country for the previously mentioned reasons is unacceptable, and any strategic setbacks for India would pale in comparison to Pakistan’s own.

Be that as it is, it’s precisely for this reason why Sanaullah should be suspected of conveying an implied threat to his country’s ousted leader through his latest speculation about India. The Establishment’s pro-US school is more unpopular than ever and is therefore desperately gambling that it can distract the increasingly restless masses to the point of redirecting a critical mass of their anger against their top foe instead and thus relieve pressure upon themselves.

To that end, Sanaullah implied two interconnected conspiracy theories: 1) Imran Khan is doing India’s bidding by blaming The Establishment for this month’s assassination attempt against him; and that 2) India is eagerly plotting to exploit the first-mentioned for the purpose of plunging Pakistan into chaos by killing him and then hoping that everyone blames The Establishment instead. These weaponized infowar narratives are intended to generate anti-Indian sentiment for uniting the people around their regime.

“Inconvenient Facts”

There are several facts that Sanaullah didn’t account for when artificially manufacturing those two aforesaid interconnected conspiracy theories and which thus discredit them: 1) The Establishment does indeed have corrupt elements among its upper echelons; 2) the structures that they represent have been responsible for assassinating people before; 3) and he inadvertently acknowledged that most Pakistanis believe Imran Khan’s claims and would thus blame them if he was killed.

Not only that, but he himself as the Interior Minister and the related arms of that selfsame Establishment that he represents are legally responsible for ensuring the former premier’s safety, meaning that attempts to kill Imran Khan (whether successful or not) are at the very least due to them failing in their duty. With this in mind, it makes more sense why Sanaullah’s speculation should be interpreted as an implied threat by the pro-US school that he’s a part of.

The Pro-US School’s Messages To Imran Khan

He’s essentially conveying the following messages: 1) Imran Khan is allegedly a traitor since his claims against those who he accuses of plotting his assassination supposedly serve India’s interests; 2) the false pretext created by this artificially manufactured infowar narrative can be exploited to “legally” persecute him and his party; and 3) even if The Establishment isn’t plotting another assassination, then they’ll at the very least stand aside if a lone wolf attempts to take him out instead.

From the perspective of those elite members from the pro-US school of The Establishment who have been calling the shots since the post-modern coup, their personal interests are more important than those of Pakistan itself. Large-scale civil unrest caused by Imran Khan’s potential assassination and the subsequently bloody imposition of martial law in response could result in them retaining power or at the very least not having to flee the country to avoid justice for their crimes upon outlawing PTI.

India could conveniently be blamed, after which a limited response along the border (that they’d hope to control even it this ultimately isn’t possible) might follow in an attempt to extend false credence to the conspiracy theory that it was behind his killing. That sequence of events could also justify the self-interested imposition of martial law and banning of PTI on the basis that they were required to defend Pakistan from India and what they’d frame as the country’s newest “terrorist group” respectively.

The Worst May Be Yet To Come

Of course, Sanaullah and those in the shadows who are pulling his strings hope that the ominous messages conveyed to Imran Khan through the first-mentioned’s implied threat will suffice to scare their target into calling off the resumption of his Long March and capitulating before The Establishment. The former premier is unlikely to do so, however, since he sincerely believes that his cause is righteous. This suggests that another assassination might thus be attempted against him out of desperation.

Returning to the earlier speculation about the infighting between The Establishment’s pro-US and multipolar schools, the failure to politically resolve Pakistan’s crisis ahead of this weekend’s resumption of the Long March could exacerbate their tensions. So too could a failure to peacefully resolve The Establishment’s infighting by then independently of resolving the crisis, in which case their attacks against each other that have thus far remained within the media realm might spiral out of control.

The pro-US school had previously speculated that elements of The Establishment are plotting a “mutiny” in collusion with Imran Khan while the multipolar one just published their corruption report at the same time as having the PMLN whistle-blower go forward. Unless they patch up their problems ahead of this weekend, they might escalate their attacks to unpredictable ends, including if the pro-US school blames the multipolar one for colluding with India to kill Imran Khan as the pretext for carrying out a purge.

Concluding Thoughts

To be absolutely clear, this analysis is based on educated inferences influenced by an interpretation of the trends that have thus far been identified. It shouldn’t be misconstrued as a confident prediction about the future of Pakistan’s political crisis. All that’s known for sure is that Sanaullah’s speculation about India plotting to assassinate Imran Khan contradicts that state’s interests, comes off as self-interested gaslighting, and thus raises suspicions about his own side’s intentions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.

7 Courses in 1 – Diploma in Business Management

Categories: Analysis, Current Affairs, Pakistan

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: