Imran Khan no-trust vote today: Pakistan cricket hero on a sticky wicket
The Pakistan National Assembly has convened for the no-trust vote
Opposition claims it has the numbers to oust Imran Khan
The Pakistan PM has called efforts to remove him a “foreign conspiracy”
Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, faces one of the biggest challenges to his political career on Saturday. At the time of writing this, the Pakistan National Assembly has convened for a no-confidence motion vote on Khan. The vote on the no-confidence motion is the fourth item on agenda. The Opposition benches are full while treasure benches see sparse attendance.
Political observers in Pakistan don’t see great hope for Imran. The numbers don’t favour the founder of Tehreek-e-Insaaf. The opposition claims more than 172 members out of 342 will be voting against Khan.
Upon realising that he might lose power, Khan has stepped up the offensive calling the opposition’s efforts a “foreign conspiracy”. On Friday night, Khan called upon the people of Pakistan to hit the streets as the no-trust vote is underway and peacefully protest an “imported government”.
Imran Khan’s charges of a foreign conspiracy stem from his suspicion of the United States. Khan believes the US is attempting a regime change in Pakistan for his government’s ‘neutral’ position on matters such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif, leader of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the leader of the opposition, has already started celebrating Imran’s fall from grace. On Thursday, after the Supreme Court said that a no-trust vote was legitimate, Sharif, brother of Nawaz Sharif and the man likely to take Imran’s place according to some media reports, said the apex court’s decision had made Pakistan’s future bright.
While Imran’s fate is likely to be sealed following the no-trust vote, the man who led Pakistan to World Cup glory and later wed himself to the cause of Islamic democracy has already called for the need for fresh elections. If Imran Khan loses the no-trust vote, he will not be the first Pakistan PM to be ousted before the end of their term but will certainly be the first to be removed from office through a no-confidence motion. Even that, in some ways, will be a win for Pakistani democracy, for a country plagued by regular military coups.