What will the impact of Pakistan political crisis on countries closely associated to it?

 | Updated: Apr 09, 2022, 11:18 AM IST

Pakistan's parliament on Saturday is going to vote on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. Opposition leader Shehbaaz Sharif is all set to become the new leader of the Islamic nation if the vote passes.

The country, which has a population of 220 million people, is facing a huge economic crisis with the Pakistani rupee dropping to a historic low against the dollar.

Let's take a look at the impact of the Pakistan political crisis on the rest of the world:

Pakistan and Afghanistan

In recent years, the Taliban and Pakistan's military intelligence agency have not been as close they used to be.

According to Lisa Curtis, director of the Indo-Pacific Security Programme at the Centre for a New American Security think-tank, "We (the United States) don't need Pakistan as a conduit to the Taliban. Qatar is definitely playing that role now." 

Ever since the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan, several countries have boycotted trade with the nation and as a result, it has been facing a an economic and humanitarian crisis.

Pakistan wants the Taliban to do more to crack down on extremist groups and worries they will spread violence into Pakistan. That has begun to happen already.

Khan has been less critical of the Taliban over human rights than most foreign leaders.


Chinese President Xi Jinping met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during the inaugration ceremony of Beijing Olympics. It came after Pakistan's army said troops had put an end to four days of assaults by separatists in Balochistan province.

China has invested significantly in the region where separatists have waged an insurgency for years, fuelled by anger that its abundant reserves of natural resources are not relieving citizens from crushing poverty.

During the meeting, Xi stressed that "the Chinese side firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and dignity, as well as in combating terrorism", according to state media.

He added that China is willing to work with Pakistan in "aligning development strategies".

Potential successor Sharif, the younger brother of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, struck deals with China directly as leader of the eastern province of Punjab. 

His reputation for getting major infrastructure projects off the ground while avoiding political grandstanding could in fact be music to Beijing's ears.



Pakistan was a part of India before the partition of the latter by Britain in 1947. The two nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars since then over Jammu and Kashmir. However, tensions along the de facto border there are at their lowest level since 2021 due to a ceasefire.

India's foreign policy drew praise from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who commended New Delhi's independent stand on foreign policy matters.

No formal diplomatic talks have taken place between the rivals for years because of deep distrust over a range of issues.


Biden and Imran Khan

Khan, 69, said late Friday he had accepted a Supreme Court ruling that ordered the no-confidence vote, but insisted he was victim of a "regime change" conspiracy involving the United States. Washington denies any role in the current political crisis.

US-based South Asia experts said that Pakistan's political crisis is unlikely to be a priority for President Joe Biden, who is grappling with the war in Ukraine.

With the Pakistani military maintaining its behind-the-scenes control of foreign and security policies, Khan's political fate was not a major concern, according to some analysts.

"Since it's the military that calls the shots on the policies that the US really cares about, i.e. Afghanistan, India and nuclear weapons, internal Pakistani political developments are largely irrelevant for the US," said Curtis, who served as former US President Donald Trump's National Security Council senior director for South Asia.

She added that Khan's visit to Moscow had been a "disaster" in terms of US relations, and that a new government in Islamabad could at least help mend ties "to some degree".