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Pakistan

'Defining moment': Sunday will decide which way this country goes, says PM Imran

  • Prime minister's address focuses on foreign policy as he faces a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly on Sunday
Published March 31, 2022 Updated April 1, 2022
LIVE ADDRESS

Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his stance on continuing to play 'till the final delivery' of the innings, stressing that Sunday's National Assembly proceedings, where voting is likely to happen on the no-confidence motion against him, will decide which way "the country is headed".

"Those who played cricket with me know that I will not give up," said Khan as he began to wrap up his address in which he focused mostly on Pakistan's foreign policy. "Sunday will decide which way the country is headed."

Khan, under pressure as a key ally switched allegiance just on Wednesday, said the voting result will decide if an "honest and upright leader like me should stay in power, or let these tried and tested people get back in power".

"It is a defining moment for our country, our people (MNAs) need to decide whether they are with me or with these corrupt leaders," said Khan.


As he began his address, the prime minister said this is a defining moment for Pakistan, stressing that it is a live session, and not a recorded one.

"Most of the current politicians had no recognition before entering politics, but I had already achieved a lot before joining politics. As I grew up, I saw the country deviating from its ideology and falling behind regional countries due to corruption and lawlessness.

"The core purpose of coming into politics was to put the country on the right path."


Khan reiterated his stance against corruption and ill-gotten wealth before moving on to the country's foreign policy.

"I have said this before and I will say this again — I will never bow down to anyone neither let my country bow down to anyone or let them become slaves of anyone," added Khan, referring to Pakistan's role in the war against terror post 9/11.


Khan added that Pakistan's tribal areas were crime-free before Pakistan joined the war on terror.

"I was the only one to take a stance against drone attacks. They used to call me Taliban Khan. But the people killed in Pakistan started retaliating against us. We paid the price for it both ways."


Mentioning the letter, Khan said that it is an "official document".

"On March 8 or before that on March 7, we received a message from America," said Khan before retracting the country's name. "Not America, but I mean from a foreign country, we received a message. For an independent country, getting this kind of message is not against a prime minister, but against the country's people.

"We received a direct threat from a country that said 'there is a no-confidence motion coming by the opposition against the elected PM, and if the motion succeeds, we will forgive Pakistan'. The letter also mentioned that there cannot be normal relations between our two countries until PM Imran is in power.

"The letter says if the no-confidence motion succeeds, bilateral relations will return to normalcy. These people (the opposition) have become their blue-eyed guys because they are easy to manipulate due to their ill-gotten money stashed abroad."


Earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that PM Imran will speak to the nation tonight. A similar statement was made by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid during a brief interaction with the media.

PM Imran summons NSC meeting, will address nation today: Fawad

The address comes as PM Imran faces a no-confidence vote that could end his premiership. However, he has stood his ground, saying the opposition’s melodrama of a no-confidence motion against him is nothing but a US-sponsored conspiracy to oust him after he plainly refused to toe its line with regard to his country’s foreign policy.

The prime minister also once again shared the content of the “threat letter”, which he had shown at his party’s mammoth March 27 power show, with a select group of journalists and reiterated “it is nothing but a direct “regime change” issue after his visit to Russia last month.

According to reports, Asad Umar, who is secretary general of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and minister for planning and development, also shared details of the letter with the journalists in presence of the prime minister.

Umar showed the letter from a distance and contended “it is very clearly evident from the letter that whatever is happening in Pakistan through the no-confidence motion was conveyed to us on March 7 and whoever the letter was addressed to was told that if the vote of no-confidence is successful, Pakistan’s problems internationally will be reduced but if Prime Minister Imran Khan survives the no-confidence vote, arm-twisting of Pakistan will be done”.

Moreover, the Islamabad High Court has cautioned the PM over making public the "threat letter," saying that doing so would amount to breaching section 5 of the Official Secrets Act.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah stated in the order that “the worthy prime minister is an elected leader of the treasury benches. The court is confident that as an elected prime minister he would not disclose any information or act in breach of Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, nor the oath taken by him under the Constitution”.

Justice Minallah cautioned that “any decision taken by the worthy prime minister has to be in consonance with his obligations under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and in letter and spirit of the oath of the office”.

He said “the court has trust and confidence that the worthy prime minister of Pakistan would not reveal any information which may be prejudicial to the national interest and national integrity of Pakistan nor that he would act in any manner that would have the effect of violating his oath”.

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