‘Will not resign’: Pakistan PM says foreign nation behind no-confidence motion against his party
Opposition parties have alleged that Imran Khan has failed to control inflation and was responsible for the economic crisis in the country.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday alleged that a “foreign nation” was involved in the attempt to oust his government.
He made the allegations during a live address to the nation ahead of the voting for the no-confidence motion in the Pakistan Assembly against his government.
A no-confidence motion, tabled in the lower house, is a vote about whether a government is deemed fit to hold the position.
Khan said that he will not resign from his post as prime minister and would face the motion in the National Assembly.
“People are saying Imran Khan will resign,” he said during the address, according to Dawn. “If you know me from cricket days, I’m not the one to accept defeat. I will fight till the last ball, and whatever be the result of Sunday’s vote. I’ll come back with more strength”
During his address, Khan also shared details of a letter allegedly containing of evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” to oust his government.
He initially named the United States of America as the country behind the letter, but quickly dismissed it.
“I am here today because on March 8 or 7, the United States ... not the US ... we got a message,” he said. “For a free country, a message like this is [not only] against its prime minister but is also against the country [itself],” Khan said in his address, according to Dawn.
He alleged the country behind the letter knew about the no-confidence motion even before it was tabled.
“In an official document, it was said that ‘if Imran Khan remains the prime minister, our ties will suffer and you will face difficulties’,” Khan alleged. “...It means that they [the Opposition] were connected with these people abroad.”
However, the United States has denied any involvement in regard to the alleged letter, according to Dawn. “There is no truth to these allegations,” the newspaper quoted a State Department official as saying.
Khan’s address to the nation comes hours after the National Assembly of Pakistan was adjourned minutes after it was convened to debate on the no-confidence motion. The Assembly will now meet on April 3.
The no-confidence motion was tabled in the Assembly on March 28 by Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif after getting approval from 161 members of the House.
On March 8, 100 MPs from the Opposition parties, such as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party had moved a no-confidence motion against Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
The Opposition had alleged that the cricketer-turned-politician had failed to control inflation and was responsible for the economic crisis in Pakistan.
The political 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.
On Wednesday, Khan’s party lost majority in the Parliament after ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) announced its support for the Pakistan Peoples Party – an Opposition faction.
Currently, Khan’s government is left with 164 members of the National Assembly, while the joint Opposition now has 177. The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark set at 172.