Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan has warned “a war of independence against a foreign conspiracy begins” after he loses a no-confidence motion, leading to his resignation.
The 69-year-old former cricket star claimed without evidence that the outcome of Sunday’s vote was a White House-led conspiracy to remove him from office.
Before the vote, fearing that Khan would seek martial law instead of stepping down as prime minister, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Khan’s aide, was reportedly telling reporters that “those who buy MPs are marshals”. Will be responsible when the law is enforced.”
Khan’s post came hours after a parliamentary motion went ahead in the capital Islamabad and ended with 174 votes against him (of the 342-member House), more than two votes needed to remove him from office.
In a tweet after the vote on Sunday, the deposed PM said: “Pakistan became an independent state in 1947, but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change.
“It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty and democracy.”
His supporters will take to the streets on Sunday evening.
A Pakistani official has expressed newsweek that relations with the United States would continue on its course.
After Khan’s sacking, Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif said a “new dawn” has begun in Pakistan.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, Sharif said: “May Allah Almighty bestow his special blessings on this country in the holy month of Ramadan.
“Alhamdulillaho [praise be to God]Dear country and Parliament House, finally got rid of a serious crisis last night.
“Greetings to the Pakistani nation on a new dawn. May Allah Almighty be the supporter of Pakistan and all of you, Amen.”
Sharif, the brother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, could take power on Monday if he is chosen to do so by parliament.
newsweek The office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan has been contacted for comment.
An attempt at the vote was brought last week, but Khan prevented it from going ahead by dissolving parliament.
But Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that the vote had to go ahead and said Khan’s efforts to stop it were unconstitutional.
Political tensions within the world’s second-largest Muslim nation had risen in recent weeks, with Khan claiming the previous vote was a case of “apparent interference in domestic politics by the United States”.
In response to this, US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said on Friday, ‘Let me say very clearly that there is no truth in these allegations.
He added: “Of course, we continue to follow these developments and we respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law. But again, these allegations are absolutely not true.”
No leader of Pakistan has completed a five-year term since the country’s inception after partition from India.
Pakistan’s proximity to the growing economic and military powers of China and India has fueled political tensions.
Khan further cemented ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin as the US aligns itself more closely with India, which Pakistan considers a hostile power.