pakistan
Wednesday Mar 23 2022
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PM Imran Khan to 'surprise' Opposition a day before no-confidence motion session

Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a gathering in Swat on March 16, 2022. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a gathering in Swat on March 16, 2022. — PID

  • PM Imran Khan vows to foil Opposition's no-trust motion.
  • "I will not resign under any circumstances," PM stresses.
  • PM says he has good relations with military to date.


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday he would "surprise" the Opposition and lay his cards on the table a day before the National Assembly votes on the no-confidence motion against him.

While conversing with journalists in the Federal Capital, the prime minister told the Opposition that they have laid all of their cards, but the no-confidence motion against him would not be successful.

"I will not resign under any circumstance. I will play till the last ball [...] and I will surprise them a day before as they are still under pressure," the prime minister said, without revealing further details. 

NA Speaker Asad Qaiser has summoned the session for the no-confidence motion on March 25 — and in line with the NA rules, the voting has to take place after three and within seven days.

Read more: Key government allies decide to join opposition alliance

"My trump card is that I have not laid any of my cards yet," the prime minister said confidently, as he vowed to foil the no-trust motion.

PM Imran Khan said he would not compromise on corruption under any circumstances, as he slammed PML-N and PPP for resorting to the politics of "corruption".

"No one should be under the false impression that I will sit at home. I will not resign, and why should I? Should I resign due to the pressure from thieves?" he stressed.

Read more: Asif Ali Zardari assures MQM-P of 'implementing' whatever two parties agree on

'They have no ideology'

PM Imran Khan predicted that the Opposition's politics would come to an end after the no-confidence motion foils. On meeting Leader of the Opposition in the NA Shahbaz Sharif, he said: "I cannot shake hands with a person who is extremely corrupt."

The prime minister said he would "never" hold a consultative meeting with Shahbaz, as he stressed that the Sharif brothers — Shahbaz and Nawaz Sharif — and Asif Ali Zardari were "corruption brands" of Pakistan.

Read more: SC forms larger bench to hear presidential reference on Article 63(A)

"They have no ideology," he said and asked: "Where does it happen that politicians take money to dismiss a sitting government?"

PM Imran Khan said only a person with no vision would follow the leadership of PPP and PML-N. He claimed that the 11 Opposition parties had come on the same page against him, but they could not match his popularity.

The prime minister also warned the Opposition that he would not silent if he steps down from office — a threat he has repeated time and again.

Read more: 'Allies no more with PTI,' Fazl claims after meeting MQM-P in Karachi

"I will not compromise on my principles even if my government is ousted [...] I cannot betray the people and God."

'Wrong to criticise army'

Moving on, PM Imran Khan said it was wrong to consistently attack and criticise the army as a powerful military was crucial for Pakistan. "Had the army not been here, the country would have split into three parts."

"The army should not be criticised for politicking," he said.

The prime minister also said his statement on neutrality was taken in the "wrong context". 

"I said that in the context of preventing evil and asking people to do good."

No-trust motion: 10 ministers, 41 MNAs in PTI right now are party switchers

PM Imran Khan said he has good relations with the military to date.

He said that any MNA or politician who has left the PTI would return and that the people had left his party only for "money".

'People are with me'

PM Imran Khan said that in recent days, the PTI's popularity has witnessed an increase. "People are with me [...] as many as 60-65% respectable people are standing by my side."

Read more: 'Lifetime disqualification can curb horse-trading'

The prime minister said he foresees a 90% increase in the PTI's support base after the ruling party's rally on March 27 in Islamabad.