Ahead of the crucial no-trust vote, a defiant Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said the country has reached a “defining moment” in its history with two paths ahead. He also said he is ready to trust vote, slated for Sunday.
“I will not resign and will play till the last ball,” said the former cricketer quite dramatically.
In a live address to the nation, the 69-year-old said he would return stronger no matter what the result of the no-trust vote would be. Khan needs 172 votes in the lower house of 342 to foil the Opposition’s bid to topple him.
Khan also discussed a threat letter that purportedly showed “evidence” of a foreign conspiracy to topple his coalition government.
Blames US for the mess; rakes up Kashmir issue too
He named the US as the country behind the threat in what appeared to be a slip of tongue. “…Our policy was not anti-US, -Europe, or even India […] it became anti-Indian after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and broke international law in August 2019,” said Khan, who insisted that the Kashmir dispute remained a big issue between the two countries.
Khan said that it was an “official letter” that was communicated to Pakistan’s ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting. He said the foreign official knew that the ones who would come into power after him would have no issues taking orders from external forces.
“But what is most disturbing is that our people, who are sitting here, are in contact with foreign powers,” he said, as he referred to the “three stooges” – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
“Will foreign countries want such corrupt people in power in their states? They are ready to accept such corrupt politicians, but I am not acceptable to them,” the prime minister said.
No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term in office. Also, no prime minister in Pakistan’s history has ever been ousted through a no-confidence motion, and Khan is the third premier to face the challenge.
In what seemed like an emotional, address to the nation, Khan said, “Pakistan is five years older than me. My parents were born during times of slavery. They made me realise that I was lucky to have been born in a free country because in slavery you cannot rise above a certain level.”
As per reports on Dawn.com, Imran said, “I decided the day I became the prime minister that our foreign policy will be independent, which means it will be for Pakistanis. It doesn’t mean that we wanted enmity. When I got the government, I said that we will not have any foreign policy that is not in our favour.”
Imran was originally expected to address the nation on Thursday. However, the address was postponed at the last minute, sparking speculations about his next step.