Pakistan PM Imran Khan says his life is in danger

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan along with other lawmakers during a rally in Islamabad last week. File photo: AFP

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that he has credible information that his life is in danger but asserted that he is not afraid and will continue his fight for an independent and democratic Pakistan.

In an interview with ARY News ahead of Sunday's no-confidence motion in the National Assembly against him, Khan also revealed that the establishment (the Pakistani military) gave him three options - no-confidence vote, early elections or resignation as the Prime Minister.

"I said early election is the best option I could never think of resigning and for no-trust motion, I believe that I will fight till the last minute, he said.

The powerful Pakistan Army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

Khan said not only his life was in danger but the Opposition, which is playing in foreign hands, will also resort to his character assassination.

Shiite Muslim demonstrators from Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan political organisation take part in an anti-US protest in Lahore on Friday. Photo: AFP

Let me inform my nation that my life is at risk too, they have also planned for my character assassination. Not only myself but my wife too, the 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician said.

Answering a question about what options the Opposition gave him, Khan said that he does not think he should talk to people like Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif.

If we survive (the no-confidence vote), we cannot of course work with these turncoats (who left PTI to join the Opposition), early elections are the best option, I will urge my nation to give me a simple majority so that I won't have to do compromises, he said.

Terming the Opposition's no-confidence motion a conspiracy, Khan said he knew about it since August last year and he had reports that some Opposition leaders were visiting embassies.

"This game started in August [last year] I received reports about people frequently visiting London from here [Pakistan] and [also received] reports from agencies, said the premier.

He alleged that former premier Nawaz Sharif, who has been living in London since 2019 for medical treatment, was plotting against his government.

He [Nawaz] was frequently holding meetings with individuals who are against the military and held last meeting with Hussain Haqqani on March 3, Khan claimed.

Haqqani was ambassador of Pakistan in Washington between 2008 and 2011 and was forced to retire as the establishment was not happy with him.

The prime minister also termed the opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), as a disgrace" to the country and said it was due their policies in the past that a foreign power was openly calling for regime change in Pakistan.

This is an alarming situation. Why on earth have we stooped so low that foreign countries are openly threatening us? he asked.

Khan reiterated what he said in a televised address to the nation on March 31 that a foreign country not only expressed disapproval over his premiership but also demanded that he be ousted through a no-confidence vote so that Pakistan be forgiven.

He said that the foreign country objected to his independent foreign policy, ARY News reported.

Khan said the threat memo did not only demand a regime change but clearly mentioned that he should be removed as the prime minister.

When asked about reports that he was thinking of firing the army chief, Khan rejected it by saying that it was a propaganda spread by PML-N.

I can never think of doing anything which is detrimental to our armed forces our country needs a strong military, he said.

Earlier, Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday claimed that a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Khan has been reported by the country's security agencies, ahead of Sunday's no-trust motion against the premier.

Khan's security has been beefed up as per the government's decision after these reports, the Dawn newspaper quoted Chaudhry as saying.

His statement came a week after similar claims were made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda who had said that a conspiracy was being hatched to assassinate Khan over his refusal to "sell the country".

Vawda had made the remarks on ARY News show over a letter Prime Minister Khan had brandished at the PTI's March 27 show of strength here, claiming that it contained "evidence" of a "foreign conspiracy" to topple his government.

Vawda said that there was a threat to Khan's life.

He, however, did not reveal if the purported conspiracy to assassinate the premier was mentioned in the letter.

Vawda also said that Khan was told multiple times that bulletproof glass needed to be installed before his dais at the March 27 rally but he refused.

Information Minister Chaudhry's claims also come a day after Khan, during his address to the nation, vowed to foil "an international conspiracy" hatched against his government by the Opposition leaders and their alleged handlers ahead of the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly.

In a live address to the nation, 69-year-old Khan discussed a 'threat letter' and termed it as part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was not acceptable for following an independent foreign policy. He named the US as the country behind the threat letter in what appeared to be a slip of tongue.

Prime Minister Khan linked the letter with the no-confidence motion against him by the Opposition in the National Assembly. The National Assembly is scheduled to vote on the no-trust motion on Sunday.

Khan's address came at a critical juncture of his political career when he lost majority after defection from his PTI party. Two of his allied parties also withdrew their support and joined the ranks of the Opposition.

The US has asserted that it did not send any letter to Pakistan on the current political situation in the country as it sought to refute allegations of America's involvement in the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led government.

Khan met President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on February 24, the day the Russian leader ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine. Khan also became the first Pakistani premier to visit Russia in 23 years after former premier Nawaz Sharif travelled to Moscow in 1999.

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