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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan vows to ‘fight till the last ball’ and address the nation today

Pakistan’s political uncertainty was far from over on Friday after the Supreme Court rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s bid to circumvent the opposition’s determined decision to oust him with a vote of no confidence, the Prime embattled minister promising to fight until the last ball.

After the Supreme Court handed down a historic and unanimous verdict on Thursday night, the cricketer-turned-politician announced he would address the nation again on Friday night, ahead of the crucial session of the restored National Assembly where the vote of non-confidence will take place by order of the court.

“I have called a cabinet meeting tomorrow as well as our parliamentary party meeting, and tomorrow evening I will address the nation. My message to our nation is that I have always and will continue to fight for Pakistan until the last ball (sic),” tweeted Khan, 69.

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The cabinet meeting will discuss the current political situation in the country and hold a consultation on the foreign “threat letter”, Geo News reported.

Citing sources, he said significant consultation will be conducted regarding the Official Secrets Act. Meanwhile, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said it would launch an agitation against the Supreme Court’s decision, which overturned a controversial ruling by the vice president on rejecting a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister and ordered the restoration of the National Assembly.

The party is also considering mass resignations by its lawmakers in national and provincial assemblies, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted party sources as saying. Khan, who had lost a majority in the lower house before the no-confidence motion was tabled last week, is expected to be beaten on the floor of the National Assembly on Saturday.

The opposition parties need 172 members in the 342-member house to orchestrate Prime Minister Khan’s downfall and they have already shown more than enough support. Khan’s party decided to stage protests against the new government at every platform, according to the report.

Khan, who now faces the possibility of being the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to be voted out in a no-confidence motion, would lead the rallies, the report said. The Supreme Court also declared unconstitutional the Prime Minister’s advice to President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly. The court ordered the president of the National Assembly on April 9 at 10 a.m. (local time) to organize a vote of no confidence. He ordered the election of the new Prime Minister if the motion of no confidence was successful.

Commenting on the Supreme Court decision, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the unfortunate decision has significantly aggravated the political crisis in Pakistan. “This unfortunate decision has exacerbated the political crisis in Pakistan. Immediate elections could have brought stability to the country. Unfortunately, the importance of the people has been overlooked. Let’s see how things go now,” he said on Twitter.

The report says the ruling party is also considering going to court for a commission to be set up to investigate the foreign plot against its government. The ruling party decided to reach out to the masses. The new government would be pressured by public opinion to undertake electoral reforms and hold new general elections, he added.

If the would-be government falsifies charges against them or makes an arrest, then it will be met with strong protests, according to the report citing the sources.

First post: STI

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