• Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Imran Khan claims foreign ‘conspiracy’ to unseat him

Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan (C) along with other lawmakers, gestures upon his arrival to address the supporters of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party during a rally in Islamabad on March 27, 2022. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

PAKISTAN’S embattled prime minister Imran Khan has claimed foreign powers are involved in a “conspiracy” to topple his coalition government.

Addressing a rally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) in Islamabad on Sunday (27), Khan said foreign elements are using local politicians and money to “mend the country’s foreign policy”.

He asserted that he has a letter as “evidence” to support his claims.

“Attempts are being made through foreign money to change the government in Pakistan. Our people are being used. Mostly inadvertently, but some people are using money against us. We know from what places attempts are being to pressure us. We have been threatened in writing but we will not compromise on national interest,” Khan said.

“The letter I have is proof and I want to dare anyone who is doubting this letter. I will invite them off the record. We have to decide for how long we will have to live like this. We are getting threats. There are many things about the foreign conspiracy which will be shared very soon,” he said.

Khan said poor countries are backward because the law there fails to catch the rich who are involved in white-collar crimes. They transfer stolen and looted money to offshore accounts. Small thieves do not destroy a country like the way big thieves do, he said.

“Three stooges are looting the country for years and all this drama is being done to have Imran Khan surrender like (former president general Pervez) Musharraf. They are trying to blackmail the government. General Musharraf tried to save his government and gave these thieves NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) and it resulted in the destruction of Pakistan,” Khan was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

“Come what may, I will not forgive them even if my government goes or even if I lose my life,” he said, apparently referring to former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples’ Party leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) leader Fazlur Rehman.

Pakistan has been on the edge since opposition parties on March 8 submitted a no-confidence motion before the National Assembly Secretariat, alleging that the government was responsible for the economic crisis and the spiralling inflation in the country.

On Friday (25), the National Assembly’s crucial session on the motion was adjourned by the speaker without tabling of the resolution, amid vociferous protests from opposition lawmakers.

The Opposition parties are confident that they can get the support of 172 members in the house of 342 to dislodge the government, while the government claims that it enjoys the required support in the House to foil the attempt.

Khan came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’ but failed to address the basic problem of keeping the prices of commodities in control.

With major allies of Khan looking the other way and about two dozen PTI members of parliament revolting against him, and the powerful establishment not providing a helping hand, he is less likely to get the support of 172 lawmakers.

Khan, 69, is heading a coalition government and he can be removed if some of the partners decide to switch sides.

The PTI has 155 members in the 342-member National Assembly.


Eastern Eye

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