PAKISTAN’S former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday (12) called for early general elections and emphasised that neither the Army nor any foreign country could safeguard democracy in the south Asian nation.
In a video message posted on his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s official Twitter handle, days after he lost a no-trust vote in Parliament, Khan said only the people of Pakistan can safeguard their freedoms and the sanctity of democratic institutions.
Pakistan has struggled with political instability since its formation in 1947 with multiple regime changes and military coups. No prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term.
He claimed that a “grand conspiracy” had been hatched against Pakistan, referring to the joint opposition’s no-confidence motion which had resulted in his ouster.
Khan on Sunday (10) had vowed to begin the “freedom struggle against a foreign conspiracy” of regime change in Pakistan.
“Pakistan became an independent state in 1947, but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
“It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty and democracy,” he had said.
The former prime minister claimed he had evidence about the conspiracy, stating a letter had been sent by former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed, after talks with the US assistant secretary of state for South Asia.
In response, the US categorically rejected Khan’s allegations, saying there was “absolutely no truth” to these claims.
Addressing the National Assembly on Monday (11) after his election as Pakistan’s 23rd prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif termed Khan’s ‘foreign conspiracy’ claims as “drama”.
Sharif said he will resign and go home if it is proven.