What's new

Farewell lunch triggered ‘Lettergate’ dispute

313ghazi

ELITE MEMBER
Mar 14, 2017
11,607
44
24,601
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
WASHINGTON: The conversation that set off the so-called ‘Lettergate’ scandal took place on March 7 at a farewell lunch for the then Pakistan ambassador Asad Majeed Khan at his residence, which is also known as Pakistan House.

Diplomatic and official sources, who spoke to Dawn, said that although it was lunch, a note-taker also attended the meeting. The cable that Ambassador Khan later sent to Islamabad was based on the notes taken by the note-taker, who was also from the Pakistan Embassy.

US officials who attended the lunch included US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Deputy Assistant Secretary Lesslie C Viguerie. The Pakistani side comprised Deputy Chief of Mission Syed Naveed Bokhari and the defence attaché.

Since the March 7 lunch-meeting was held less than two weeks after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the invasion dominated the conversation. The sources said the US side expressed its ‘disappointment’ with Pakistan’s decision to send its prime minister, Imran Khan, to Moscow the day Russia invaded Ukraine.


“They pointed out how the invasion had angered the entire American nation and explained why they thought Mr Khan should have postponed his visit,” one of the sources said.

Another source said Mr Lu hinted that “Washington believes the final decision to go ahead with the visit despite the invasion was that of Imran Khan” although some Pakistani officials had suggested postponing it.

Also read: PM Imran says 'foreign-funded conspiracy' out to topple his govt, claims to have evidence in writing

Ambassador Khan, according to these sources, argued that it was a collective decision and that Pakistan had been trying for a Moscow visit for years. And when the invitation came, they could not turn it down or postpone it.

The Americans, however, argued that Islamabad should have also “considered Washington’s sensitiveness” on this issue before going ahead with the visit.

The sources said the conversation then drifted to the current political environment in Pakistan, and Mr Lu pointed out that Washington was keenly watching the situation and the outcome of the no-trust move against the then prime minister would impact US-Pakistan relations as well.

One source claimed Mr Lu’s arguments were “alarming and far from routine”, but he did not threaten a regime-change. The source also claimed that no one attending the meeting felt that the Americans were hatching a conspiracy to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government. “No, there’s no conspiracy. Nobody got that impression,” the source added. “But they did say the outcome will impact bilateral ties, which can be interpreted either way.”

The sources said the Americans never concealed “their disappointment” with Pakistan over Mr Khan’s Moscow visit. They claimed that Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had planned to visit Washington in April, but postponed it after learning how the Americans felt about Ukraine.


Read more: Donald Lu evades question about Imran's allegations

“I never thought it was a US conspiracy, but it triggered certain reactions that impacted the domestic political situation in Pakistan,” another source said. “What Mr Lu said reflected what the Biden administration feels and thinks. It was very unusual. Not one bit routine.”

The source claimed that the defence attaché’s presence in the lunch-meeting, and his earlier engagement with US officials on the Ukraine issue, explained why Gen Bajwa’s comments on Ukraine “marked a significant departure” from Imran Khan’s policies on this issue.

Former prime minister Khan argued that Pakistan made a mistake by joining the West during the Cold War, it should remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion.

Addressing a seminar in Islamabad on April 2, Gen Bajwa had slammed Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, calling for immediate cessation of what he described as a “huge tragedy” inflicted on a smaller country.

On Thursday, the military’s media wing — ISPR — also dismissed Imran Khan’s allegations of a US conspiracy, although it acknowledged that Washington had used language in the lunch-meeting that amounted to interference in Pakistani affairs.

The ISPR chief pointed out the National Security Council’s meeting on this issue expressed “grave concern” at the communication from Washington, but did not use the word ‘conspiracy’.

On April 8, in his last address to the nation as prime minister, Mr. Khan reiterated his allegations that a senior US diplomat threatened a regime-change in Pakistan.

In another statement, Mr Khan also named the official — Donald Lu — who allegedly made that threat during a meeting with Ambassador Khan.

On April 10, while commenting on Mr. Khan’s claim, a US State Department spokesperson Jalina Porter said: “Let me just say very bluntly there is absolutely no truth to these allegations.”

 

Waterboy

FULL MEMBER
Dec 19, 2014
504
0
1,061
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
I honestly want to know how IK government will deal with the west when it comes into power again?

US and europe are our biggest trade partners.

We are dependent on IMF and if they don't give a bailout we'll default.
Our relationship with the gulf is strained.

IK government pathetically failed to improve the country’s economy.

Shaukat tareen saying we didn't have a plan when we came into power. What assurity do we have that they have a plan now?

We can't refine ural crude and no wants to trade in rupee( curreny that loses it's value daily).

Like it's beyond understanding on why people support him. PDM sucks massively but IK isn't any different.

Pls don't quote corruption, corruption under IK increased massively.

Honesty ka achar bantna hai when the guy is stubborn and massively incompetent.
 

313ghazi

ELITE MEMBER
Mar 14, 2017
11,607
44
24,601
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
I honestly want to know how IK government will deal with the west when it comes into power again?

US and europe are our biggest trade partners.

We are dependent on IMF and if they don't give a bailout we'll default.
Our relationship with the gulf is strained.

IK government pathetically failed to improve the country’s economy.

Shaukat tareen saying we didn't have a plan when we came into power. What assurity do we have that they have a plan now?

We can't refine ural crude and no wants to trade in rupee( curreny that loses it's value daily).

Like it's beyond understanding on why people support him. PDM sucks massively but IK isn't any different.

Pls don't quote corruption, corruption under IK increased massively.

Honesty ka achar bantna hai when the guy is stubborn and massively incompetent.

Everything you mentioned amounts to nothing. There are no economic sanctions on Pakistan - IMF will lend to anyone who meets thier conditions and for all the so called strained relations - oil supply from the middle east was regular and even payment was deffered by the Saudis just recently that doesn't sound so strained to me.


The US remains our largest export market and as wonderful as that is - its also very dangerous. We need to diversify. Having said that our exports have risen year on year to record levels, since PTI came into power.

Any sanctions would be the perfect opportunity to diversify our export markets, although I appreciate short term it would harm us.
 

Imad.Khan

SENIOR MEMBER
Sep 24, 2015
6,898
9
10,309
Country
Pakistan
Location
Australia
I honestly want to know how IK government will deal with the west when it comes into power again?

US and europe are our biggest trade partners.

We are dependent on IMF and if they don't give a bailout we'll default.
Our relationship with the gulf is strained.

IK government pathetically failed to improve the country’s economy.

Shaukat tareen saying we didn't have a plan when we came into power. What assurity do we have that they have a plan now?

We can't refine ural crude and no wants to trade in rupee( curreny that loses it's value daily).

Like it's beyond understanding on why people support him. PDM sucks massively but IK isn't any different.

Pls don't quote corruption, corruption under IK increased massively.

Honesty ka achar bantna hai when the guy is stubborn and massively incompetent.

Simply question, would you hire a known gangster to look after your mum and sister?

I am sure your answer is "No" then how come you are so eager to give your country to these gangsters?
 

Whirling_dervesh

FULL MEMBER
Sep 16, 2014
847
1
1,649
Country
United Kingdom
Location
United Kingdom
There is no price for your independance and sovereignty...have faith in Allah

Or do you enjoy the daily humiliations these westerners make you and your people endure?

As Bhutto once said we would rather eat grass.....

The westerners will respect and acquiese to your demands once you become independant and strong

Otherwise you will always remain cucks
 

Waterboy

FULL MEMBER
Dec 19, 2014
504
0
1,061
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Having said that our exports have risen year on year to record levels, since PTI came into power.
Obviously exports would increase if 42% your currency is devalued. But i don't think the trend will continue. Higher electricity prices, gas prices and inflation will tank our exports.
 

WotTen

FULL MEMBER
Mar 18, 2022
955
-3
1,613
Country
Australia
Location
Australia
Another source said Mr Lu hinted that “Washington believes the final decision to go ahead with the visit despite the invasion was that of Imran Khan” although some Pakistani officials had suggested postponing it.

Both Donald Lu and DAWN writers need to go back to primary school.

Imran Khan arrived in Russia on Feb 23.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb 24.

23 comes BEFORE 24.
 

PradoTLC

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 17, 2007
6,132
-3
6,916
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Arab Emirates
DAWN, as usual, is giving a spin to whole of this incidence, unfavorable to the narrative of IK.


Dawn is known for that... it plays with words.. it has to as it is paid by PDM.

Henry Kissinger told Bhutto " Roll back nuke program or we will make a horrible example out of you".. a few years later Bhuttto was hanged

Dawn would said.. the same ie ..no consipiracy and it is all good
 
Last edited:

Tomcats

FULL MEMBER
Jan 24, 2020
1,698
1
1,882
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Well just as i said earlier a week or two back, there was no talk of regime change neither was it signaled. There were definitely some not so appreciative comments on Pakistan's stance and the current nature of the relationship but nothing about regime change. But apparently everybody is wrong, the diplomats are lying, the military is lying everyone except Imran Khan who waves the letter in his hand like Chamberlain arriving from Munich.

Guys approach this logically the amount of evidence pointing to the meeting containing no mention nor signalling towards regime change outweighs Imran Khan's allegations. What evidence has he brought up on it? Until and unless he can give concrete proof, it will remain a baseless allegation.
 

WotTen

FULL MEMBER
Mar 18, 2022
955
-3
1,613
Country
Australia
Location
Australia
“I never thought it was a US conspiracy, but it triggered certain reactions that impacted the domestic political situation in Pakistan,” another source said

This is typical DAWN subterfuge. The conspiracy, or involvement, claim is not based on the memo alone. There are DOCUMENTED visits, unusual visits, by foreign diplomats to low ranking MNA in the days before the NCV.

As usual, the Pakistani illiberals tell only half the story.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom