Thursday, March 31, 2022
ISLAMABAD: As the threat of the no-confidence motion looms to oust him from office, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday addressed the nation and said that he would not resign at any cost and would "never allow this conspiracy" to succeed.
Talking about the "threatening memo" that the PM claimed to have received against his government from a foreign country, he named the United States to be behind the conspiracy.
In an apparent slip of the tongue, he named "the United States..." but quickly moved on and stated that "a foreign country" had sent a "threatening memo" which was against the Pakistani nation.
"...the letter stated that the no-confidence motion was being tabled even before it was filed, which means the Opposition was in contact with them," the premier alleged.
PM Imran Khan said the memo was against him, not against the government. "...it stated that if the no-confidence motion passes, Pakistan will be forgiven, if not, there will be consequences."
The premier stated that it was an "official letter" that was communicated to Pakistan's ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting.
The premier said he had not revealed all the text mentioned in the letter but noted that there "were other horrifying" details in it.
PM Imran Khan said the envoy was told that if Imran Khan remains in power, Pakistan would face "difficulties".
"Is this our standing? We are a strong nation of 220 million," the premier asked the nation. PM Imran Khan said the letter does not mention any reason and only wanted his ouster.
"...our ambassador told the foreign official that the prime minister had visited Russia after delibrations with [the country's top brass]. But the foreign official stated that no, it was just Imran Khan's decision," the premier revealed.
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.
Before that, 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 [...] it became anti-Indian after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and broke international law in August 2019," the premier said.
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.
The premier said the foreign powers were well-aware of the properties and assets of the "corrupt" politicians as he gave a reason behind the Opposition's readiness to "follow foreign orders."
After Deputy NA Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the lower house session to avoid the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing the nation.
The prime minister wondered why were the "three stooges" acceptable to the foreign powers. "I will tell you why they are acceptable. During dictator Pervez Musharraf's tenure, only 11 drone attacks took place, but after them, during the 10 years of [PPP and PML-N's] tenure, 400 drone attacks took place."
"They did not even utter a single word against it [...] Even Hamid Karzai, who was the president of Afghanistan where the US forces were present, would condemn the drone attacks, but our politicians did not express reservations against it," he said.
The prime minister said Fazl, according to WikiLeaks, told the former United States ambassador to Pakistan, that he will serve America just like the others. "Nawaz Sharif, according to Indian journalist Barkha Dutt, held secretive meetings with Narendra Modi in Nepal."
"Shahbaz claimed that I was wrong to say absolutely not to the United States [...] this is why they like them," the prime minister said on Opposition leaders' acceptability to foreign powers.
PM Imran Khan lamented that during the "war on terror", overseas Pakistanis were put behind bars, and no government raised reservations over it as they feared the repercussions.
"...you have never taken a stand for Pakistanis, Shahbaz. Neither can your brother — Nawaz — as they know where his money is stashed," the prime minister said.
The premier said that the Opposition claimed that if the "threat letter" was real, they would side with him. "So why did you not partake in the NA committee session where it was presented."
The prime minister said he briefed the federal cabinet about it, senior journalists were informed about it, and later it was presented before the National Security Committee and the Parliament.
PM Imran Khan said the voting on the no-confidence motion would take place on Sunday, which would define Pakistan's future.
He said that even though the Opposition is trying to pressurise him so that he steps down, he said reiterated that such a thing would not happen.
He said that, unlike others, he did not join politics because someone handed him over a chit, or because my family members were in politics.
"I made it to this office through sheer struggle, therefore, no matter how much they try, I would not resign at any cost," the premier said.
He further stressed that he would "never allow this conspiracy" to succeed.
At the beginning of his address, the premier 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.
"But before that, I would like to tell the nation why I joined politics," he said, as he went on to provide the reasons for his career choice.
"I already enjoyed fame and had money due to my faith in Allah, 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."
The premier said that the founding fathers of Pakistan had envisaged a welfare state, based on the model of Riyasat-e-Madina, but the country was nowhere near that model.
"...I came into politics because I realised that Pakistan cannot move in the direction that Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam wanted. Pakistan's real reason was to establish an Islamic welfare state, just like Riasat-e-Madina," he said.
The premier said in line with the ideology of Pakistan, he started politics and included three things in his manifesto — justice, humanity, and self-reliance.
He said that during his youth, he saw that the country was progressing toward the path of success and development.
"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.
"[To steer the country out of that decline], I want the children of this country to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)."