Pakistan: Imran Khan chairs National Security Committee meet ahead of debate on no-confidence motion
Meanwhile, the debate on the no-confidence motion has been adjourned until April 3.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday held a meeting of the National Security Committee, a day after his government lost its majority in the country’s Parliament, Dawn reported.
The National Security Committee is chaired by the prime minister and includes the country’s national security adviser, armed services chiefs, federal ministers and top intelligence officials, according to PTI.
According to Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the meeting was scheduled to be held at Khan’s residence. He also announced that Khan will address the nation later on Thursday night.
The meeting comes a day after Khan shared a letter – allegedly consisting of evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” to oust his government – with his Cabinet ministers, according to Dawn.
The meeting of ministers, however, was not attended by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Balochistan Awami Party, key allies of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
The letter was also reportedly shown to a select group of television news anchors, who were told that its content was “threatening and arrogant”. The anchors were told that the letter said that Pakistan would face dire consequences if the no-confidence motion against Khan fails to oust him, according to Dawn.
The letter had first surfaced during a public meeting held by the cricketer-turned-politician in Islamabad on March 27. At the rally, Khan had shown his supporters a piece of paper, claiming that it was a letter that threatened to destabilise his government and was proof of the country’s foreign policy being externally manipulated.
He had refused to read the letter aloud, saying it was against the interest of national security.
Debate on no-confidence motion
Meanwhile, the National Assembly of Pakistan was adjourned minutes after it was convened to debate the no-confidence motion against Khan’s government on Thursday. The Assembly will now meet on April 3.
The motion was tabled in the Assembly on March 28 by Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif after getting approval from 161 members of the House.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party landed in trouble after about 100 MPs from the Opposition parties, such as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party, on March 8 had moved a no-confidence motion against it.
The Opposition had alleged that the cricketer-turned-politician had failed to control inflation and was responsible for the economic crisis in Pakistan.
The crisis escalated after reports emerged that more than 24 members of Khan’s party were threatening to vote against him during the no-confidence motion.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has 155 members in the 342-member Assembly. It requires the support of at least 172 members in order to stay in power. Opposition parties together have 163 members in the House. However, they can cross the majority mark if dissidents from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf vote against the government.