Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has denied the claim of his own party leader Fawad Chaudhry during an interview on national TV and admitted meeting a former United States diplomat recently.
In an interview aired on Monday night, the former prime minister confirmed a recent meeting with CIA analyst and American lobbyist Robin Raphel. “I know Robin Raphel for a long time… she is not with the US government, but with an American think tank,” he was quoted as saying during the interview.
Regarding Imran Khan's meeting with Raphel – an expert on Pakistan affairs – former federal minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that no meeting between the two had taken place in recent days, but it happened three years ago. Later, while holding a press conference on Monday, Fawad showed flexibility in his stance and said that he did not talk to Imran Khan in this regard.
The PTI leader, changing his tone, said that if Robin Raphel is in Pakistan, or will come to Pakistan, then there should not be an issue in meeting her. He said that Raphel had retired and has nothing to do with the US government.
However, his party chief refuted Fawad's claims that no such meeting had taken place.
Reports of Raphel meeting Imran at his Bani Gala residence had made headlines a few days ago.
Read more: Imran meets US lobbyist in Bani Gala
Raphel was appointed as the assistant secretary of state for the affairs of South and Central Asia in 1993.
It should be noted here that on April 27, the former premier criticised American diplomat Donald Lu by waving a letter to the public at a public gathering in Parade Ground, Islamabad. He alleged that there was a conspiracy hatched against his government and the diplomat had been involved.
Social media and political circles are currently rife with debates on Imran’s strategy of criticising the US while holding meetings with American personalities.
Questions are being raised about the meeting between the two, particularly the contents of it.