Pakistan’s beleaguered Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has vowed to launch a yorker inswing at opposition leaders for tabling a no-confidence motion against him, now faces the prospect of being exhausted in the numbers game in parliament Sunday with key allies abandoning him and a significant number of rebel lawmakers vowing to vote against him.
Khan, who came to power in 2018 with the promise of creating a “Naya Pakistan”, is at a critical moment in his political career as he lost a majority after defecting from his Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI ). Two of its allied parties also withdrew their support and joined the ranks of the rejuvenated opposition.
The 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician faces the no-confidence motion, which was tabled by National Assembly opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif on March 28. The National Assembly must vote on the motion of censure. on Sunday.
Khan needs 172 votes in the lower house of 342 to foil the opposition’s bid to overthrow him. However, the opposition claims to have the support of 175 MPs and the Prime Minister is expected to resign immediately.
A defiant Khan said he would not step down despite losing a majority and insisted he would ‘fight to the last ball’ and face the vote of no confidence in the National Assembly on Sunday.
Khan described the rebel lawmakers as “traitors” and said they would be branded as such for the rest of their lives as he pleaded with them to come back and foil the opposition’s bid to overthrow his government.
No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term. Moreover, no prime minister in Pakistan’s history has ever been ousted by a motion of no confidence, and Khan is the third prime minister to rise to the challenge.
Since coming to power in 2018, Khan has failed miserably to address the fundamental problem of controlling commodity prices, allowing the opposition to target his government as ineffective.
On Friday, Khan said he had credible information that his life was in danger, but said he was not afraid and would continue his fight for an independent and democratic Pakistan.
Khan’s security was tightened in line with the government’s decision after he claimed his life was in danger.
In an interview with ARY News, Khan also revealed that the “establishment” (the Pakistani military) had given him three options: a vote of no confidence, a snap election or a resignation as prime minister.
“I said early elections were the best option…I could never think of resigning…and for a motion of no confidence I believe I will fight until the last minute,” he said.
Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has met Prime Minister Khan at least twice this week.
Pakistan’s mighty military, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 73-year existence, has so far wielded considerable power in security and foreign policy.
A senior source in the federal government told PTI that disguised talks between the government and the joint opposition are underway on the issue of the no confidence motion against Khan.
“The talks are focused on one point – the common opposition withdraws the motion of no confidence against Khan and in return it dissolves the National Assembly calling for new elections,” the source said, adding that “the most high-ranking member of the establishment can be a guarantor” if the agreement between the two is reached.
Khan accused the opposition of playing into foreign hands and indicated that if he survived the vote of no confidence he would call a snap election.
He called the opposition parties Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) a ‘disgrace’ to the country and said it was because of their policies past that a foreign power was openly calling for regime change in Pakistan.
Khan, one of the fastest bowlers in the world during his cricketing career and one of the pioneers of the reverse bowling technique, said last month he would take three wickets with an inswing yorker, referring to the three main opposition leaders – PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
The Prime Minister reiterated what he had said in a televised address to the nation on March 31 that a foreign country not only expressed its disapproval of his post as Prime Minister, but also demanded that he be ousted by a vote of no confidence so that Pakistan will be “forgiven”. .
In the live address, Khan had discussed a ‘threatening letter’ and called it part of a foreign plot to impeach him because it was not acceptable to pursue an independent foreign policy. He named the United States as the country behind the threatening letter in what appeared to be a slip.
The United States said it had not sent any letters to Pakistan about the current political situation in the country as it sought to refute allegations of American involvement in the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led government. .
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)