Ahead of no-trust vote, Imran Khan says no deal with Opposition 

Beleagured Pakistan Prime Minister says he will continue fight against ‘white collar corruption’ 

Updated - March 28, 2022 08:33 am IST

Published - March 27, 2022 09:58 pm IST - Islamabad

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at a rally of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in Islamabad on March 27, 2022.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at a rally of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in Islamabad on March 27, 2022. | Photo Credit: AFP

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that he would not reach a deal with the Opposition leaders who have moved a no-confidence vote against him in Parliament even if his government collapsed.

Addressing a huge crowd of supporters of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at Islamabad’s Parade Ground, Mr. Khan, who is facing the biggest political crisis of his tenure as several party legislators have also turned against him, said that he would continue his fight against “white collar corruption”.

“This is not Pakistan’s misfortune. This is the misfortune of all developing nations. Developing nations go weak because they do not catch white collar crime and give them NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance,” said Mr. Imran.

“All this drama is being done to have Imran Khan surrender like Musharraf. They are trying to blackmail the government. General Musharraf tried to save his government and gave these thieves NRO and it resulted in the destruction of Pakistan," said Mr. Khan, according to the newspaper Dawn . "Come what may, I will not forgive them even if my government goes or even if I lose my life," he added.

Pakistan has been on the edge since Opposition parties on March 8 submitted the no-confidence motion before the National Assembly Secretariat, alleging that the PTI government was responsible for the economic crisis and the spiralling inflation in the country.

Thousands of supporters of the Prime Minister came in trains, public vehicles and private cars to attend the “historic” rally of the ruling party.

“The public meeting will be the largest in the history of the country and have a great impact,” Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told reporters on Saturday, ahead of the gathering.

The call for the rally was given by Mr. Khan as he has been trying to present his fight against a “group of crooked opposition leaders”.

In the speech, he defended the policies of the his government, which he said was striving build an “Islamic welfare state”.

“Our Pakistan was built on the ideology of Islamic welfare state. We had to build the country on the basis of Riyasat e Madina,” Mr Khan said.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of the Opposition parties, will hold a separate event in Islamabad on Monday, which will coincide with the National Assembly session when the no-confidence motion is set to be formally moved in the house.

Another big protest march led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice presidents Maryam Nawaz and her cousin Hamza Shehbaz, who is the son of Shehbaz Sharif, started from Lahore on Saturday. Travelling on the historic GT Road, they are scheduled to reach Islamabad on Monday to attend the opposition rally.

“It (the march) will be the last nail in the coffin of the PTI government,” Ms. Maryam told her supporters.

Mr. Khan came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’ but miserably failed to address the basic problem of keeping the prices of commodities in control, giving air to the sails of opposition ships to make war on his government.

(With inputs from PTI)

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