Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday ordered his party’s lawmakers to either abstain or not attend the National Assembly session on the day of the vote of no -confidence motion against him, which is likely to be held in the first week of April.
The order comes a day after Pakistan’s opposition on Monday tabled a no -confidence motion in the Senate against Khan, who faces the toughest political test since taking office in 2018 when defections within his party and a rift in the ruling coalition appear to have been made. his position is fragile.
In a letter to PTI lawmakers, Prime Minister Khan, who is the party’s chairman, said: “All members of the Senate should refrain from voting/not attending the Senate meeting on the date of the resolution. It is set on the agenda,” Geo reported. News.
All members are “required to abide by its instructions in true letter and spirit” and should keep in mind “the intent behind the provisions of Article 63 (A) of the Constitution of Pakistan,” he said.
Khan also warned party lawmakers that “any or any” violation of the directive would be considered a “manifest defection” in terms of Article 63 (A).
No prime minister in Pakistani history has ever been ousted through a no -confidence motion, and Khan is the third prime minister to face the challenge.
The House of Representatives will convene on Thursday to debate the motion.
Home Minister Sheikh Rashid said the no -confidence vote would be held on April 3.
“There will be a debate on the no -confidence motion on March 31, followed by a vote on April 3,” he said, adding that Khan would emerge as the winner.
Prime Minister Khan needed 172 votes in 342 chambers to thwart efforts to overthrow his government. Given that Khan’s allies are still not committed to supporting him and about two dozen lawmakers from within Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf government have revolted, the situation has not changed.
Meanwhile, the government said on Tuesday that it was ready to share a “letter” with the country’s chief justice waved by the prime minister at a rally as evidence of a foreign “conspiracy” to overthrow him.
In a show of massive strength, Khan on Sunday spoke at a massive rally in the capital where he claimed that foreign powers were involved in a conspiracy to overthrow his coalition government. He took the document out of his pocket to show it to the accused public, saying it was a letter sent to threaten him.
Speaking at a press conference with Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Planning Minister Asad Umar claimed he had seen the letter himself and said the prime minister was ready to share it with the chief justice.
“Obviously, it is the highest judicial post in Pakistan, it is a highly respected post in the country. Personally too, the chief justice has a very good reputation. The prime minister said that if necessary, and to the satisfaction of the people, he is willing to hand over the letter to the chief justice of the Supreme Court, “said Umar.
Umar said the letter was written before a no -confidence motion filed against the prime minister on March 8 but it clearly mentioned acts of distrust which made it a matter of concern.
“So it is clear that foreign hands and motions of disbelief are linked. These are not two separate things and we see a clear connection between them,” Umar said.
He, however, refused to disclose the content to the public and even shared it with the opposition as demanded by his leader. But he said that the letter had been shared with top civilian and military leadership as well as some cabinet members.
Umar also said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who lives in London, was one of the “characters” mentioned in the letter who testified to a conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Information Minister Chaudhry claimed Sharif had held meetings with Israeli diplomats. “That’s why I say he’s not allowed to go abroad, because when people like that go abroad they become slaves, weapons of international organizations,” he said.
The pressure on the two ministers was made after the opposition accused the prime minister of forging the letter and asked the government to share it.
“If there is a real threat from abroad to national security, then we are with the government,” said Pakistan-Nawaz Muslim League (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal.
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asked the government to convene a parliamentary session on Wednesday and share the letter with lawmakers.
“Threats have been made to our country and we need to respond to them collectively. This is not just about Imran Khan and his two ministers,” he said.
He stressed that the prime minister should either trust parliament over the letter or apologize.
The development comes a day after the opposition coalition in a power show on Monday night vowed to topple the Khan government.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which among others includes PML-N and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-I), organized a massive rally on the Srinagar Highway in Islamabad.
PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, daughter and heir of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, accused Khan of putting his most trusted Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to salvage his power after the government decided to replace him with Chaudhry Pervez Elahi to win the support of his Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid party , which has five MPs in the lower house.
Khan came to power in 2018 with a promise to create ‘Naya Pakistan’ but failed to address fundamental problems of keeping commodity prices under control, giving air to the sails of opposition ships to go to war with his government.
No Pakistani Prime Minister has ever completed a full five -year term in office.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)