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Imran Khan survives decision to oust him as Pakistani PM calls for new elections

Imran Khan survived an attempt to overthrow him as Pakistan’s prime minister on Sunday. The Deputy Speaker of Parliament blocked the motion of no confidence as unconstitutional.

Khan advised the country’s president to dissolve parliament, leading to further political instability. “I sent advice to the president to dissolve the assemblies,” Khan said in a televised address, referring to national and state legislatures.

He called on the nation to prepare for new elections.

In his speech, Khan said: “I congratulate all Pakistanis on the President’s decision. The motion of no confidence was a foreign conspiracy against us. The nation should decide who should rule it. Not the corrupt people who conspire with foreign powers. Prepare for elections.You will decide.

Ahead of the vote, Khan assured lawmakers of his ruling party victory, while opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif said a treason case should first be filed against the prime minister.

The no-confidence motion against the 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was tabled by opposition leader in the National Assembly Sharif on March 28.

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The prime minister needed 172 votes in the lower house out of 342 to foil the opposition’s attempt to overthrow him. The opposition said it had the support of 175 lawmakers and that the prime minister should resign immediately.

Khan, who came to power in 2018 with the promise of creating a ‘Naya Pakistan’, is at a critical juncture in his political career as he lost a majority.

On April 1, Khan said he had credible information that his life was in danger, but said he was not afraid and would continue his fight for an independent and democratic Pakistan.
In a live address to the nation, Khan, 69, discussed a ‘threatening letter’ and called it part of a foreign plot to impeach him as it was not acceptable to follow a independent foreign policy. He named the United States as the country behind the threatening letter in what appeared to be a slip. Prime Minister Khan linked the letter to the no-confidence motion against him by the opposition in the National Assembly. The National Assembly must vote Sunday on the motion of censure.

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