Pakistan PM Imran Khan to face no-confidence vote today

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Imran Khan. Photo: AP/File

Islamabad: After weeks of political mudslinging, name-calling, and claims of an international conspiracy, Imran Khan is set to face the no-confidence vote on Sunday in Pakistan's National Assembly.

As Pakistan PM readies himself to face the "last ball", it is clear that Imran Khan has seemingly lost support both in the lower house of the legislature and the backing of the all-powerful Pakistan army.

Imran Khan received a massive blow when the PTI "lost the majority" in the National Assembly after losing its key ally in the coalition Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P). The MQM announced on Wednesday that it had struck a deal with the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and would support the no-trust vote in the 342-member National Assembly.

Imran Khan, elected in July 2018 vowing to fix the economy and combat corruption, isn't going quietly. Pakistan PM held a massive rally last Sunday in Islamabad and later gave controversial speeches to show he remains wildly popular with his supporters.

A day before the decisive no-confidence vote, Imran Khan urged the country's youth to stage "peaceful protests" against a "foreign conspiracy" allegedly hatched against his government.

Pakistan Prime Minister even said that he has "more than one plan" for tomorrow's vote on the no-confidence motion against him. He also urged the youth of Pakistan to agitate and raise their voice against the conspiracy by external forces.

Imran Khan further claimed that the Opposition leaders are seeking power to dispose of the corruption cases against them.

In an editorial on Saturday, Pakistan's Dawn said Imran Khan seems willing to go to any lengths in his determination to convert his looming defeat in Sunday's vote of no-confidence into a moment of political martyrdom.

"As if the shock value of an international conspiracy to oust him was not enough, his close aides and Mr Khan himself have since doubled down with public statements that they fear an attempt on his life," the newspaper said.

Criticising the country's prime minister, the Pakistani daily said one hopes that Imrana Khan is not simply trying to create panic among his supporters, many of whom have already issued passionate calls for rallies and demonstrations ahead of the Sunday vote.

Tilak Devasher, an author and India's foremost Pakistan expert said that Imran Khan is hoping for clashes and violence forcing the army to step in and wrap up the system rather than leave democratically.

"Imran Khan still doesn't get it that his fate will be decided in the National Assembly on Sunday and not by inciting youth to come on the streets to protest. He is hoping for clashes and violence forcing the army to step in and wrap up the system rather than leave democratically," Devasher tweeted.

"By saying that he won't accept the results of the NCM, Imran Khan has confirmed that he doesn't believe in democracy or the constitutional process. Someone needs to tell him that it doesn't matter whether he accepts the results or not. If he is defeated he is ex-PM," he added. (ANI)

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