ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – In less than a day of a no-confidence vote that will almost certainly remove him from office, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he will not accept the results of the vote, dismissing it as part of an American conspiracy. It creates a platform to drag him and the country’s political crisis out of Sunday, as Mr Khan struggles to stay in politics.
In an interview with The New York Times and three other international media outlets, Mr Khan claimed that the vote was part of a US plot to “change the regime” in Pakistan – doubling his allegations. His political support has been shaken in recent days.
“How can I respect the outcome when the whole process is disrespectful?” Mr Khan described the procedure as “completely distorted”.
So far, Mr Khan has not provided evidence to parliament or the media to support his conspiracy claims, and US officials have denied the allegations. During his tenure, Pakistan moved further away from the United States and forged closer ties with Russia and China.
Sunday’s no-confidence vote is the culmination of a political crisis that has engulfed Pakistan for weeks, with Mr Khan, an international cricket star becoming a politician, losing the support of the country’s powerful military last year and a coalition of opposition parties withdrawing. To vote for him from the office last month.
This week, the tide turned against Mr Khan when several factions in his ruling coalition split – giving the opposition an easy majority in the 342-member National Assembly to remove him from office and urging him to resign earlier. Voting
On Saturday, the country’s powerful military, which has not publicly sided with the current political crisis, appears to have distanced itself from Mr Khan’s policy agenda. Speaking at a security conference in Islamabad, the army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, said Pakistan hoped to expand and deepen its ties with other countries, including the United States – a sharp rebuke to Mr Khan’s removal of Pakistan from the foreign policy agenda. United States.
General Bajwa said that Pakistan has “shared a long history of excellent and strategic relations with the United States,” adding that the United States represents Pakistan’s largest export market.
Unlike Mr Khan, who has not strongly condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, General Bajwa called the attack “unfortunate” and said that “despite Russia’s legitimate security concerns, its aggression against a small country cannot be forgiven.”
Mr Khan has rejected the call for resignation. Towards the end of Saturday, he seemed to be shaking up any way to delay the vote and stay in office.
In a Q&A with Pakistani nationals aired on local television on Saturday night, he said rejecting the results of the no-confidence vote was contrary to his earlier statement – instead assuring his supporters that he would win.
“I will defeat the opposition in Parliament tomorrow,” Mr Khan said.
His party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has approached the Supreme Court to suspend Sunday’s vote, claiming that opposition lawmakers were “working to persuade foreign enemy countries” and “conspiring, conceiving and hatching”. Proposal of confidence against Mr. Khan. The Registrar of the High Court dismissed the application as “not entertaining”.
Information Minister Fawad Chowdhury, who has also been given charge of the law ministry, has asked the court to cancel the bail of opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is facing corruption charges and if Mr Khan is expected to be elected interim prime minister. Voting takes place outside the office.
In his televised appearance on Saturday night, Mr Khan called for peaceful protests across the country on Sunday. He further added that he was the target of a murder plot and reiterated his allegation that the no-confidence vote was part of a conspiracy against him. Last week, he said his government had received a statement threatening his government by the United States – a longtime favorite target of his political discourse.
He went into more detail about the alleged conspiracy in an interview with international news outlets on Saturday, claiming that the statement contained details of a March 7 meeting between the former Pakistani ambassador to the United States and US officials. Mr Khan alleged that US officials had criticized Mr Khan’s recent visit to Russia and told the Pakistani ambassador that US relations with Pakistan depended on removing Mr Khan from office by a vote of no confidence.
Mr Khan said the interaction was a “clear interference in US domestic politics”.
U.S. officials have denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Pakistan’s intelligence have been made more than once. Mr Khan did not provide a copy of the statement to Parliament or the media.
If Mr Khan is removed from office on Sunday, lawmakers will choose an interim prime minister to serve until the next general election, scheduled for 2023. Lawmakers may decide to hold an early election sometime before the end of this year.
On Saturday, Mr Khan suggested he would run in the next general election – confirming the doubts of many analysts and observers that the vote would not be his last political battle.
“The best way to get out of this is to go to the polls,” he said in an interview. “Let the people decide who they want to elect.”
Some analysts say Mr Khan could use anti-American rhetoric from his platform as prime minister to whip up public support and movement on the streets if he loses the election, as expected. However, it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Khalid Imran Rasool, a newspaper columnist and analyst, said: “Imran Khan seems to be forced to go to any lengths to avoid the process. “Rather, he has chosen the path of chaos, further polarization and divisive political manipulation.”
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