The Cypher, Regime Change, and Imran Khan

As over two years have passed since the High Command of our army, in partnership with our thieves of the first rank, brought about regime change in Pakistan, the profundity of this change can be better appreciated today. The deeper one thinks about this, one cannot help concluding that this change may well turn out to be existential as far as our country is concerned, and the country might not outlive the effects of this treachery.

When on Mar 7, 2022, Mr Donald Lu, a US Assistant Secretary of State met Mr Asad Majeed Khan, our ambassador to Washington to deliver him an ultimatum, the burden of his message was very clear. This was that unless Imran Khan was removed from office through the “No Confidence” move against him, which was then in the works, Pakistan would have to pay a steep price for its “aggressive” neutrality against the US. Period.

As per the SOP in vogue, the ambassador coded the upshot of this meeting, marked it as “secret”, and sent it as a cypher to his ministry. The ministry, following its own SOP, decoded the cipher, and forwarded it to the PM [Imran Khan], the Army Chief [ Gen Bajwa] and DG ISI [Gen Naveed Anjum].

Obviously, this message from Donald Lu was not meant for Imran Khan, unless Lu expected Imran Khan to expedite the “No Confidence” motion against his own government!
Similarly, this message could NOT have been sent to the Army Chief and DG ISI except as “info” addressees, unless Donald Lu expected them to act illegally and bring down the government of Pakistan.

The only person for whom this message had relevance was the Leader of the Opposition in our National Assembly. Legally, only he could have expedited the “No Confidence”. But he was not even on the foreign office list of distribution.

So, obviously this “cypher” was a huge screw-up. In short, what transpired was, that this message landed up with Imran Khan, from whom it had to be kept secret; it also went to the Army Chief and DG ISI, whose only legal action on it should have been to inform their Prime Minister about its subversive contents; and the Leader of the Opposition, for whom it should have been meant, could not receive it because he was not on the distribution list of the addressees as per the SOPs of the foreign office. Indeed, it would have been illegal for Donald Lu to give any such directions to the Leader of the Opposition.

So if anything could be called a “dead letter”, it was Donald Lu’s note for urgent regime change in Pakistan, because it went to all the people who were not supposed to recieve it, and did not go to the only person who could legally hasten regime change.

The irony is that instead of this letter being pronounced “dead on arrival”, it became the most “live” letter of all, which is still refusing to die. And the reason it is refusing to die is that it implicates two Generals of the High Command in treachery against the state, and is also an indictment against the US for having instigated the conspiracy to bring about regime change in Pakistan.

The US, of course, is so highly regarded at the rotten heights of Pakistan’s power structure, that any embarrassment caused to it is regarded as a high crime in this Mumlikat e Khudadad. So, someone needed to pay for this high crime. And who better to pay for it than Imran Khan, the very man who was the victim of this conspiracy, but found out about it, shared the facts with the people of Pakistan, and was charged with outing a national secret! Amazing!

Surely, one honest judge somewhere in Pakistan, should be able to “decipher” the reality of the “cypher” case, and bring this circus to the ignominious end that it deserved.

Before I end, it would be worth speculating on what could have gone wrong with the messaging between Donald Lu and Pakistan, to have ended in such a horribly embarrassing situation which bared all that was meant to remain covered.

On Mar 2, 2022, Donald Lu attended a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. During this an indignant Sen Chris Van Hollen asked Lu some tough questions on Pakistan’s stance regarding the Ukraine conflict, and why Pakistan could not be reigned in. After this Lu went to the US National Security Council to be briefed on Pakistan. On Mar 7, he held his meeting with Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan from which the affair of the “Cypher” was born.

It is obvious that Lu could not have INITIATED the regime change conspiracy. This must have been initiated far earlier and Lu merely picked it up in the middle and did his bit to EXPEDITE it. He must therefore have ASSUMED that Asad Majeed Khan, being our Ambassador to Washington, must have been a central cog in this conspiracy against his own country. Lu would also have assumed that therefore the Ambassador would convey his message to the Generals, the main traitors, through discreet channels of communication established for this purpose. But these assumptions turned out to be incorrect. Asad Majeed Khan happened not to be a traitor and neither did he have any special channel through to the Generals. So, he sent out Lu’s message as per the normal SOPs being followed by his office. He treated this as normal communication of which his government should have been informed. The shit really hit the fan when the government WAS INFORMED and Imran Khan, who should have been the last man to get this message, became the first one to do so. And since then we are witnessing this unending “Cypher Tamasha” as the ball is kicked from one imcompetent judge to a sold-out one, and the rounds don’t seem to be ending.

I have taken the facts for my reconstruction from the story as revealed in The Intercept which has yet to be successfully challenged. The gaps between these facts, I have filled by speculation which appeared most plausible to me. If any reader has a more plausible explanation of events, I will be most obliged to receive the same.

Few letters in history, least of all misdirected ones, have ever had such an effect on it. This letter took just a couple of weeks to expose the High Command. From a group in which the hopes of our people had traditionally been vested, it showed them up as the traitors they really were. Almost overnight, the army lost the support of the people who had revered it so long. Thus it became an army being commanded by clutch of naked generals who were as clueless as they were traitorous!

This was tragic for Pakistan. No one can estimate the full range of the tragedies which are to follow in the wake of this betrayal. But the one terrible pain which I deeply feel is the one being suffered by our junior officers and men, who are daily giving their lives for our security and well being, when they lie betrayed at the top.

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