Islamabad, Mar 31 (EFE).- Ahead of a parliamentary vote that has put him on a shaky wicket, an embattled Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday rejected opposition calls to step down, saying he would fight till the end.
In an emotional address to the nation that he peppered with cricket analogies, the sportsman-turned-politician criticized the United States and blamed a “foreign conspiracy” for the political uncertainty in the country.
“On Sunday, there will be a vote. Whatever the result is, I will emerge stronger. I will not let this conspiracy succeed at any cost,” Khan said.
“Somebody suggested that I should resign. I always fight till the last ball. I want the entire nation to see on that day who sold their conscience.”
The prime minister appeared to have unintentionally named the US for conspiring against him for his Russia visit on the day of the Ukraine invasion.
“On Mar.7, we got a message from America, not America, I mean from a foreign country,” Khan said, quickly eating his words in the live televised address.
He said the letter was against the prime minister per se, but “actually it was against our nation.”
“They knew about the no-trust motion before it was tabled (in parliament) which means they (the opposition leaders) were in touch with outsiders.”
The prime minister said the message warned of “hard times” for Pakistan if the no-trust vote failed.
He said the message was communicated to Pakistan’s representative ambassador in an official document.
“It was told that if Imran Khan remains the prime minister, our relations will deteriorate and you will have to face serious consequences.”
He said the document questioned his trip to Moscow as a decision he took on his own.
But Khan said the Russia trip happened after “consultation with the foreign office and with the military leadership” of the country.
He said “the most disturbing” in all that was that the foreign powers were in touch with opposition leaders of Pakistan.
“Three stooges are sitting here, working with foreign powers. They want Imran Khan to be ousted,” he said.
“They played along a foreign conspiracy because I promoted an independent foreign policy.”
Khan addressed the nation after the opposition asked him to resign ahead of the parliamentary vote.
The opposition has joined hands to criticize the prime minister and see his ouster for the failing economy and rising prices.
He has already lost the majority in parliament after the main ally abandoned the ruling coalition and quit the government. EFE