Pakistani PM loses no-confidence vote — Analysis

Imran Khan claimed that the opposition had been acting upon orders from overseas.

Pakistan’s parliament has passed a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday. The speaker of the lower house Asad Qaisar, who is also a member of Khan’s party, announced his resignation after adjourning the house three times throughout Saturday. 

Khan PTI’s party effectively lost its majority in the National Assembly in March when seven MPs from its coalition partner decided to join the opposition’s ranks. The rivals accused the cricket star-turned-politician of mismanaging Pakistan’s economy, battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as mishandling Islamabad’s foreign and internal policy.

Sunday’s motion means that Khan’s five-year term has ended early, much like that of all previous prime ministers of the country.

Pakistan won’t accept ‘imported government’ – Khan

Now, the opposition will nominate their candidate for replacing Khan as Prime Minister. On March 21, Maryam Nawaz, the vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party – the country’s leading opposition force – told journalists that the party had nominated Shehbaz Sharif as its candidate for the office, which was confirmed by Sharif himself on Thursday.

Khan, in turn, had previously claimed that the opposition was doing a foreign power’s bidding, and that an “imported government” would be installed in Pakistan should he be ousted. He vowed to fight in the Friday night speech, calling for supporters to go out on the streets.

Khan previously blamed America, saying they wanted Khan gone for trying to pursue an independent foreign policy. He also criticized Moscow’s visit in February. Khan claimed that he had a recording of the Pakistani ambassador to Washington supporting his claims.

Pakistan Army Chief wants closer ties to the US

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested that Washington was trying to “Punish an irresponsible Imran Khan” describing efforts to remove him from power as “yet another attempt to unashamedly interfere with a sovereign nation’s internal affairs.

The US State Department has denied claims that it was behind the vote of no-confidence, with spokesperson Jalina Porter describing Khan’s allegations as “Absolutely not.

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