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Pakistan

PM Imran urges 'peaceful protests' against 'foreign conspiracy' targeting his govt

  • Statement comes during live question-and-answer session with the public on Saturday
Published April 2, 2022
PM answers live calls on Saturday

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday urged the youth to hold peaceful protests and rallies to speak up against the conspiracy to remove his government, a call that comes a day ahead of the no-confidence vote against him in the National Assembly (NA).

Khan also stressed that he will not let the opposition leaders "betray the country", and said he is currently contemplating what legal recourse could be pursued against them.

The question-and-answer session, which began a little before 5:30 pm, was broadcasted live on television, radio, and digital media.

Prime Minister Imran regularly speaks at public gatherings and takes one-on-one calls from the people.

Today's Q&A session comes as PM Imran faces a no-confidence vote in parliament on Sunday.

"Before taking your telephone calls, I want to talk to the people of my country for five minutes because right now Pakistan is standing at a decisive point," the prime minister said in his opening comments. "This is a war for the future of the country."

Talking about the opposition's no-confidence motion against him, PM Imran said that a "foreign conspiracy" against him has been proven beyond doubt.

"The cabinet, NSC, and the parliament's security committee have seen it. The official document says that if you remove Imran Khan, your relations with the US will get better."

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Answering a question, the premier said that he will take legal action against the people who betrayed their country.

"I met my lawyers today and we have a plan. We won't let them go free. All of them will be punished. We will decide by tonight the kind of legal action we want to take against them."

'Don't malign Army for politics'

When asked what he would say to people criticising the military, PM Imran said that there are two things that have kept the country united today. "First is the army of Pakistan. It's a strong and professional army. It is important for the country because a lot of countries are trying to harm Pakistan. Second is the PTI because it's a party that has kept the country connected.

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"We need this army. It has sacrificed for us. I want you to not criticise the army."

'Pakistan needs independent foreign policy'

Talking about the need for an independent foreign policy, the premier said that the country cannot progress unless our ties with the world are based on mutual respect.

The premier said that Pakistan only tried to adopt an independent foreign policy once. "Except for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, our country has never had an independent foreign policy," he said.

To another question, PM Imran said he wants a foreign policy that is aimed at protecting the rights of the people of Pakistan and enhancing respect for its passport.

'Don't worry about the no-confidence vote'

To a question, the premier told his supporters not to worry about the no-confidence vote.

"Don't worry at all. A captain always has a plan, and this time I have more than one plan ... God willing we will win tomorrow. I will defeat them in the Assembly.

"The nation will see tomorrow ... if they cast the vote tomorrow, they know they will be rejected by the public. You will see that we will win tomorrow."

Establishment should intervene, call early elelctions: Sheikh Rashid

PM Imran had said on Friday that he will announce early elections in the country if he wins the no-confidence motion.

“Early elections is a good idea and will be good for the country,” said the premier during an interview with a private television channel on Friday.

On Saturday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had said that Pakistan's establishment should intervene immediately, and call for elections immediately either after Ramazan or Hajj.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the interior minister proposed four options to counter the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said another option was that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan should be banned, and an inquiry should be initiated against them.

Yet another option, Rashid said, was for the PTI members to "resign from all assemblies".

“The fourth option is that I declare war on these thieves and looters. It is my mission to bury those who are politically dead,” he added.

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