Opposition toeing foreign agenda to oust him, says PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the nation, here Thursday. - NNI photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday ruled out tendering his resignation and vowed to fight till the last ball.
In his televised address to the nation on Thursday evening, he said it will be decided on Sunday whether the nation will pursue an independent foreign policy or tow the policy of slavery. He said Pakistan has reached a “defining moment” in its history where it is left with only two options, adding that the nation now has to choose which path to take.
Prime Minister said the voting on the no-confidence motion will be held on April 3 and whatever the result may be, he would emerge even stronger from this move. He said he never admits defeat in his life and those who are conspiring against him or selling their conscience will be exposed before the nation that day.
Referring to defectors, he said everyone knows the money is in the play and if they had a conscience and thought that Imran Khan has destroyed the country they should have resigned quite early. He said there was drama and market open in the Marriott and Sindh House and warned that the nation would not forgive such traitors. PM Khan said.
Referring to opposition leaders, the PM said history remembers Mir Jaffars and Mir Sadiqs and he would not let them act on the whims of the foreign powers and would resist them till the last blood.
He said he doesn’t have any hidden interests like his opponents and neither does he have any relatives in politics nor he has established businesses that he has to worry about. He said he will stay in the politics and the country to fight the ‘traitors’ of the country.
Addressing the nation in a live telecast, Prime Minister Khan said he has an important message to the nation and has decided to talk to the nation through a live telecast instead of recording. He said Pakistan was at a very important juncture at the moment that would decide its direction. The premier said he wanted to talk about some heartfelt matters with the nation.
PM Khan said the people came into politics for material gains but he had all these things before coming into politics. He said he belonged to that first generation of the country who born in an independent country while his parents were born in a slave country.
Being a student of politics, he felt that Pakistan cannot become a country as per the dream of Allama Muhammad Iqbal or the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said the purpose of making Pakistan was to make it an Islamic welfare state.
“I already enjoyed fame and had money, and I was part of a generation that was born to an independent state, unlike my parents,” he said. “My parents used to tell me to be thankful as I was born into an independent state and did not have to witness the rule of the British.”
“When I started politics, I included three things in my party’s manifesto. Justice, which means the 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 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.”
The prime minister continued: “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.”
He said that during his youth, he saw that the country was progressing toward the path of success and development, but because of the corruption of political leaders, the country started witnessing a decline. “People from South Korea, the Middle East, and Malaysia used to come to Pakistan to study at universities here,” he said. “But because of the corruption of political leaders, it started witnessing a decline.
“I want the children of this country to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) (To steer the country out of that decline).”
PM Imran Khan said that despite Pakistan’s participation and sacrifices it made for the United States’ “war on terror”, Islamabad never received appreciation.
The premier noted that when the country’s northern areas were bombarded by US drones, he was the “only politician” who staged sit-ins against it. “None of the senior politicians raised their voice against it as they were afraid that it might draw United States’ ire.
PM Imran Khan said Pakistanis suffered due to the “war on terror”. Therefore, the premier said when he came into power, he aspired for an independent foreign policy. “Our policy was not anti-US, -Europe, or even India. I tried for a friendly relationship with India. It became
anti-Indian only after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and broke international law in August 2019,” the premier said.
The prime minister then discussed the ‘threat letter’ that purportedly shows “evidence” of a foreign conspiracy to oust his government. In what appeared a slip of tongue, he named the United States as the country behind the threat. “I am here today because on March 8 or 7, the United 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.”
PM Imran Khan said the foreign official knew that the ones who would come into power after him would have no issues taking orders from external forces. “But what is most disturbing is that our people, who are sitting here, are in contact with foreign powers,” he said, as he referred to the”three stooges” – PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
PM Imran Khan said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was convicted in Pakistani courts. Lashing out at the Opposition, he said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other institutions had made cases against them.
“Will foreign countries want such corrupt people in power in their states? They are ready to accept such corrupt politicians, but I am not acceptable to them,” the prime minister said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan is all set to take strict action against dissenting party members who may vote against him in the no-confidence motion.
The prime minister on Thursday held a special meeting with the senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and additional general secretary of the party Amir Mahmood Kayani and Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan to discuss action against dissenting party members.
The premier – ahead of the no-confidence vote – has ordered a strategy to be formulated for issuing show-cause notices to those members of PTI who have refused to follow the party line. According to sources, the draft for the show-cause notices has been finalised and the notices will be issued to the concerned MNAs under Article 63-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The Article 63-A of the Constitution strictly prohibits members of the assembly from crossing the floor; a member of the National Assembly who deviates from the party policy issued by the head of the parliamentary party must forfeit their seat.
The premier has given dissident members the opportunity to clarify their position by noon, April 1. If they do so, they would be pardoned. “Strict action will be taken against members who do not satisfy the party by the stipulated deadline,” the PTI stated.
Official references against MNAs who have openly deviated from party policy are to be sent to the speaker of the Assembly during the meeting. The PTI will move to declare the seats of dissident members vacant under Article 63-A of the Constitution.
Days after PTI issued show-cause notices to 13 of its lawmakers on grounds of alleged defection, the disgruntled lawmakers responded on March 26 by vehemently denying the allegations as “baseless and untrue”.
The strongly-worded response came after the ruling party issued the notices when the dissenting PTI lawmakers were found staying at the Sindh House and openly expressed a lack of confidence in the prime minister. The PTI had asked the lawmakers to explain within seven days about giving the impression that they were about to leave the party. NNI, TLTP