Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday called on his countrymen to take to the streets ahead of a no-trust vote that could see him thrown out of office, stressing again that foreign conspirators are looking to change the leadership in Islamabad.
No Pakistan Prime Minister has ever completed a full term, and Mr Khan is facing the biggest challenge to his rule since being elected in 2018, with opponents accusing him of economic mismanagement and foreign-policy bungling.
“I have been planning how to face them. Insha Allah (God willing), you will see how I will face them tomorrow. I want my people to be vigilant, alive. If it had been another country where such things were happening, people would have moved to the streets.
“I call on all of you to move to the streets today and tomorrow. You should do so for your conscience, in the interest of this nation. No party should force you to do that. You should be out on the streets for the future of your children. You should all go out and show that you are vigilant,” Mr Khan said addressing people during a Q&A session with ARY News.
Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) effectively lost its majority in the 342-member assembly last week when a coalition partner said its seven lawmakers would vote with the opposition.
A former international cricket star who in 1992 captained Pakistan to their only World Cup win, Mr Khan hinted he still had a card to play.
“I have a plan for tomorrow, you should not be worried about it. I will show them and will defeat them in the assembly.”
More than a dozen PTI lawmakers have also indicated they will cross the floor, although party leaders are trying to get the courts to prevent them from voting.
The Opposition is confident that its motion would be carried as many lawmakers from the ruling PTI have come out in the open against Prime Minister Khan.
A defiant Mr Khan has said that he will not resign despite losing the majority and insisted that he will “fight till the last ball” and face the vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly on Sunday.
The MQM, a key ally, has announced that it has struck a deal with the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and would support the no-trust vote in the 342-member National Assembly.
“I said early elections are the best option…I could never think of resigning… and for no-trust motion, I believe that I will fight till the last minute,” he had said.
On Friday, Mr Khan claimed he has credible information that his life is in danger but asserted that he is not afraid and will continue his fight for an independent and democratic Pakistan.
The no-confidence motion was submitted by the Opposition parties on March 8.