Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said he will not resign at any cost and claimed to have a “surprise” up his sleeve for the opposition, even as at least three allies of the ruling coalition have indicated to vote against his government during a no-trust motion which would come up for discussion in Parliament later this month.
“I will not resign under any circumstance. I will play till the last ball (…) and I will surprise them (opposition) a day before as they are still under pressure,” Prime Minister Khan said, without revealing further details.
Talking to reporters here, he said the Opposition has laid all of their cards, but the no-confidence motion against him would not be successful. “My trump card is that I have not laid any of my cards yet,” he said confidently.
“No one should be under the false impression that I will sit at home. I will not resign, and why should I? Should I resign due to the pressure from thieves?” he said while referring to the opposition leaders’ no-trust vote against him.
Around 100 lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) submitted the no-confidence motion before the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8, alleging that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf: government led by Prime Minister Khan was responsible for the economic crisis and the spiralling inflation in the country. On Sunday, the National Assembly Secretariat issued a notification, paving the way for holding the key session on Friday.
Khan also said it was wrong to consistently attack and criticise the army as a powerful military was crucial for Pakistan. “Had the army not been here, the country would have split into three parts.” “The army should not be criticised for politicking,” he said. The prime minister also said his statement on neutrality was taken in the “wrong context”.
“I said that in the context of preventing evil and asking people to do good.” Khan said he has good relations with the military to date. The powerful army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.
Earlier this month, the powerful army distanced itself from the brewing political situation in the country, saying it has nothing to do with politics. Meanwhile, at least three allies, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the Pakistan Muslims League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) with their 17 members have indicated to join the Opposition, Geo News reported.
Citing sources, it said that the MQM-P, the PML-Q and the BAP have decided to part ways ahead of the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Khan and an announcement would be made on March 25. “They (MQM-P) will announce that they are with us in a day or two. After meeting the MQM-P leadership, I am completely satisfied that the no-confidence motion will be successful,” the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, told the media.
Khan, 69, is heading a coalition government and he can be removed if some of the partners decide to switch sides. In the 342-member National Assembly, the Opposition needs 172 votes to remove Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician.
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