Pakistan PM Imran Khan Cancels Speech To Nation Amid Resignation Buzz


Imran Khan’s future as Pak PM looks increasingly in doubt ahead of the no-confidence vote

New Delhi:

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled his planned address to the nation ahead of a no-trust vote. The announcement that he has cancelled his speech came after the Pakistani Army chief and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) met with Mr Khan earlier today. The army and the ISI heads again met with Mr Khan later in the evening.

In a tweet, Pakistani Senator Faisal Javed Khan of Mr Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, also confirmed that the embattled Prime Minister has cancelled his speech today.

Mr Khan’s future looked increasingly in doubt after a key coalition partner switched allegiance ahead of the parliamentary no-confidence vote this weekend.

The cricketer-turned-politician has for weeks been facing political turmoil in the country where no Prime Minister has seen out a full term. 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.

A debate on the no-confidence motion is due to start tomorrow, leaving Mr Khan scrambling to keep his own PTI members on side — as well as a slew of minority parties.

On paper, the PTI and coalition partners have 176 seats in the 342-member assembly, but today the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM-P, said its seven lawmakers would vote with the opposition, which has a combined 163 seats.

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 on Sunday.

In the past, Pakistan parties have also resorted to physically preventing lawmakers from voting against key legislation by blocking access to the national assembly, leading to cat-and-mouse chases and even accusations of kidnapping.

Senior MQM-P leader Faisal Subzwari tweeted today that his party had finalised an agreement with the opposition, led by the Pakistan People Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).

The PML-N and PPP dominated national politics for decades until Mr Khan forged a coalition against the usually feuding dynastic groups.

He was elected after promising to sweep away decades of entrenched corruption and cronyism, but has struggled to maintain support with inflation skyrocketing, a feeble rupee and crippling debt.

Some analysts say Mr Khan has also lost the crucial support of the military — claims both sides deny — and Pakistan’s army is key to political power.

With inputs from AFP


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