Imran Khan says 'foreign conspiracy' aims to oust him but accepts supreme court decision

Embattled prime minister claims the US is behind push for a no-confidence vote

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will face a no-confidence vote on April 9, 2022 after the supreme court overturned his decision to dissolve parliament. Reuters

Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan said on Friday he accepted a verdict from the country's Supreme Court, that ordered parliament proceed with a no-confidence vote against him.

Khan said in an address to the nation he was disappointed but ultimately accepted the decision of the court, after he blocked the vote and dissolved parliament last week.

The court ruled that unconstitutional on Thursday, ordering parliament to reconvene on Saturday

The former international cricketer had announced earlier that he will set up a government commission to investigate what he says is a foreign plot and uncover the conspirators, one of his ministers said.

The measures were announced with less than 24 hours to go before a no-confidence vote the prime minister is widely expected to lose.

Mr Khan, 69, is on the brink of being tipped back into opposition after the supreme court ruled that his attempts to dodge the vote were unconstitutional.

The prime minister had sought to sidestep the ballot by dismissing the no-confidence motion, dissolving parliament and calling new elections.

Instead, the supreme court reversed his manoeuvres and said the vote must go ahead on Saturday morning.

Fawad Chaudhry, federal information minister, said the government would present the contents of the so-called “threat-letter” that Mr Khan says shows America is behind the no-confidence vote.

Mr Khan says the country wants him out for pursuing an independent foreign policy and seeking good ties with China and Russia. He has until now offered no evidence for his claims and Washington said such accusations are baseless.

Mr Chaudhry said the contents of the letter would be put before the national assembly on Saturday.

"If, even after that, they [the opposition] want to go with the no-confidence vote, then the people of Pakistan will decide who's standing where," he said after a Cabinet meeting.

A commission led by a retired general will also look into the affair, he said.

“The commission will also disclose the local figures who were used to take forward this foreign conspiracy,” Mr Chaudhry said.

“Of course, not everyone from the opposition was involved in it. But there were some people who knew what the conspiracy was, who was behind it and where it came from.”

Mr Khan was expected to address the nation on Friday night. He has said he will “continue to fight [for Pakistan] till the last ball”.

Meanwhile another of his ministers denounced the supreme court decision to quash the prime minister's effort to block the no-confidence vote.

"A judicial coup happened last night ... ending parliamentary supremacy," said Shireen Mazari, the human rights minister.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: April 08, 2022, 5:15 PM
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