Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed that “come what may” he will not step down and face the no-confidence motion filed by the joint opposition against him in the National Assembly.
“Vote on the no-confidence motion will be held this Sunday [April 3]… On coming Sunday it will be decided in which direction this country will go,” he said while addressing the nation on Thursday.
“I will not resign and fight till the last ball,” he added.
The premier while terming the no-trust move as the “foreign-backed conspiracy” to topple his government said that the nation will not forgive those lawmakers who will vote against him in the lower house of parliament.
“People should see those people [lawmakers] who will ‘sell their conscience’ on Sunday,” said the premier while warning the parliamentarians that the coming generations will never forget them if they voted against him.
“I will never let this conspiracy succeed come what may.”
PM Imran said those who will support the no-trust motion in the house “are committing treason” against the country.
“This nation will neither forgive you nor those are behind you… remember the faces of traitors,” the premier said.
While discussing the ‘threat letter,’ the premier said he received the message from a foreign country through Pakistan’s ambassador was not only against him but the entire nation.
The foreign country, which sent the ‘threat’, knew that the opposition was going to table a no-trust motion against me in the National Assembly, he added.
The premier while quoting the threatening letter said that the foreign official told the Pakistani ambassador in the unnamed country that other stakeholders including Foreign Office was not taken on board about his visit to Russia.
PM Imran further said that ‘conspirators’ have links with the major opposition leaders of the country and added that they wanted to install opposition parties into power to influence Pakistan’s foreign policy.
“Their intelligence officials know everything about our political leaders… and they know about the offshore assets of Shehbaz Sharif,” he said.
The premier said he always wanted to pursue independent foreign policy and since entering politics 25 years ago he never compromised on his stance.
“I am not anti-America or anti-India but I criticised their [West] wrong policies… I always wanted to pursue independent foreign policy.”
PM Imran went on to say that he opposed the decision of joining the so-called US war on terror during the military era of Gen Pervez Musharraf.
“Despite suffering huge losses due to becoming the US ally in its war in Afghanistan, the US did not acknowledge sacrificed rendered by Pakistan.”
The premier said that he always maintained that his government will make a “people-centric” foreign policy that should not be against any country.
Next two days are ‘very important’
Earlier, in a post on Twitter, Information Minister Fawad Chaurdhry said the prime minister will speak to the nation tonight. A similar statement was made by Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid during a brief interaction with the media.
وزیر اعظم عمران خان آج رات قوم سے خطاب کریں گے
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 31, 2022
Rashid said the prime minister will address the nation tonight. He claimed that the next two days were “very important”. “Imran Khan is standing steadfast against the traitors of democracy,” he added.
On Wednesday, the prime minister was slated to address the nation but it was postponed due to untold circumstances. In a tweet, PM’s aide Faisal Javed had said the prime minister’s address to the nation was being postponed but did not give any reason for its postponement.
The prime minister, who has lost his majority in the National Assembly after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) joined hands with the opposition, is accusing the opposition of being a part of a ‘foreign-funded’ conspiracy to dislodge his government.
To corroborate his claim, PM Imran is also using an alleged letter by a foreign power wherein Pakistan was warned of “grave consequences” if the no-trust motion failed.
Meanwhile, the prime minister and the National Assembly speaker have summoned meetings of the National Security Committee and Parliamentary Committee on National Security at the Prime Minister House and Parliament House, respectively. The meetings will be briefed on the alleged letter sent to the premier by the foreign power.
In light of the letter, PM Imran had convened an urgent cabinet meeting to discuss the issue of an ‘international conspiracy’ being hatched to topple his government through a secret letter – that he waved during his address at the party’s March 27 rally in Islamabad.
The cabinet ministers were shown the letter by the prime minister on a teleprompter, whereas the journalists were not shown the letter but its contents were shared with them in separate meetings. The letter has been sealed under the Official Secrecy Act.
Also read: Imran terms no-trust a foreign conspiracy
Imran had told the cabinet that he was doing politics of national interest rather than his own person. He had told the ministers that the letter was closely linked to the no-confidence motion. Imran had said that he would fight till the last ball and drive the opposition out of the ground. He said that the people are with him.
Imran, according to the sources, had said that attempts were being made to overthrow the elected government under a foreign conspiracy. The prime minister had told the ministers that the military leadership would also be taken into confidence on the letter.
Before the cabinet meeting, PM Imran addressing a ceremony in Islamabad had claimed the opposition’s no-confidence motion against him was a “huge foreign conspiracy against Pakistan”. However, he emphasised that he could not name the country which sent the ‘threatening letter’ because its results would not be good for the country.
The prime minister had said that the letter stated that Pakistan would face serious consequences if the no-confidence motion failed, adding that the language of the letter was extremely harsh and that the no-trust motion had been mentioned in it several times.
It may be mentioned here that the letter – being touted as a threat – had been sent by former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed. It was sent after talks with the US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, the sources told The Express Tribune.