Pakistan PM braces for Sunday trust vote, slams opp as foreign power’s stooges

Islamabad, March 31 : Embattled Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday addressed the nation days ahead of voting on a no-confidence resolution against him in the National Assembly that will decide his fate. “Today, I have to talk about something important about the country’s future,” the prime minister said in his opening remarks. “I decided to do this address live because Pakistan is at a defining moment and we have two paths ahead of us.” “But before that, I want to tell you that why a person like me entered politics. I am a fortunate person whom Allah had blessed with everything, including fame and wealth. I am from the first generation that was born in a free country. “Pakistan is five years older than me. My parents were born during times of slavery. They made me realise that I was lucky to have been born in a free country because in slavery you cannot rise above a certain level. Khuddari is a sign of a free nation.” The prime minister explained why he had entered politics in the 1990s following a successful cricket career. “I entered politics because I came to the conclusion that Pakistan can never be the country that Allah and Quaid-e-Azam struggled for even in poor health,” he said. “The main purpose pf Pakistan was to become an Islamic welfare state, which traces back to the state of Madina. “When I started politics, I included three things in my party’s manifesto. Justice, which means law is the same for the powerful and the weak. Humanity because there is kindness in an Islamic state, and third, Khuddari because a Muslim nation cannot be a slave. “Had Allah not blessed me with faith, I would (not have) entered politics. I was mocked for 14 years and people repeatedly asked me why did I enter politics. I came into politics because of an ideology. “Since I joined politics, I have always said that neither will I bow down before anyone and nor will I let my nation bow down. It means I will not let my nation be a slave to anyone. I have never backed down from this stance. “I decided the day I became the prime minister that our foreign policy will be independent, which means it will be for Pakistanis. It doesn’t mean that we wanted enmity. When I got the government I said that we will not have any foreign policy that is not in our favour. The prime minister then discussed the ‘threat letter’ that purportedly showed “evidence” of a foreign conspiracy to oust his government. It is not clear whether he wanted to name but he did mention the ted States as the country behind the threat. “I am here today because on March 8 or 7, the ted States … not the US … we got a message. For a free country, a message like this is (not only) against its prime minister but is also against the country (itself). “They knew beforehand that a no-trust move was coming. The no-trust motion was not even submitted (at the time). It means that they (the opposition) was connected with these people abroad, They say they are angry with Pakistan … they make this excuse. They say they will forgive Pakistan if Imran Khan loses in no-trust move, but if the move fails, Pakistan will have to go through a difficult time.” “In an official document it was said that ‘if Imran Khan remains the prime minister, our ties will suffer and you will face difficulties.’ “I am telling my nation today that this is our status. We are a nation of 220 million and another country — and they are not giving any reason — (is issuing threats). They said that Imran Khan decide to go to Russia on his own even though the Foreign Office and the military leadership was consulted. “Our ambassador told them that the decision (to visit Russia was made after consultations) but they are denying it and saying that ‘it was only because of Imran Khan and that our ties cannot be good if he stays.’ What they are actually saying is that they have no issue with the people who will replace Imran Khan. The prime minister said the foreign forces have “developed a liking for” Shehbaz Sharif, Fazlur Rehman and Asif Ali Zardari as they “know where there money and properties are” and “in their 10 years 400 drone attacks happened and they did not condemn it once. “The most disturbing thing is that they (foreign forces) have links with the people through whom the conspiracy (no trust move) happened, They are stooges, and stooges means loyal slaves,” he said. PM Imran then addressed Shahbaz’s criticism of him saying “absolutely not” to the ted States in response to its reported demands of having military bases in Pakistan. “I only said that ‘we are with you in peace but not in war’ because our foreign policy is independent. I don’t talk against anyone. I only say that my biggest responsibility is the 220m Pakistanis. When did you (Shehbaz) take a stand … you and your brother can never talk, they know where you assets are.” The prime minister then addressed the no-trust move against him — the voting on which will take place this Sunday. “On Sunday, there will be a voting held and a decision will be taken on the direction of this country. Somebody suggested that I should resign. I always fight till the last ball. I want the entire nation to see on that day that who sold their conscience. “There is looted money being used to buy off people, and this is happening before the entire nation. This is a transaction of their conscience, the country and its sovereignty.” Despite seeing several of his main allies side with the opposition, the prime minister still said he has “hope”. “I tell these people who have taken the deals that this will be stamped on you, The people will neither forget nor forgive you. Neither will they forgive those who are handling you. The people will always remember that you sold your country. Through a foreign conspiracy you tried to topple a government that had an independent foreign policy.” The prime minister was originally expected to address the nation on Wednesday. However, the address was postponed without providing any reason, reported by Dawn. ING

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