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Imran Khan faces major set back due to no-trust vote

Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday shared some details from what he called a “foreign conspiracy letter” with senior journalists and cabinet members, asserting that the document was authentic. Khan had waved a purported letter at a public rally on March 27 and declared that a foreign conspiracy was afoot to remove him from power, touting the Opposition’s no-confidence move against him as a testimony of “foreign funded” move to topple his government. He has, meanwhile, deferred his address to the nation amid the prevailing political situation in Pakistan.

Khan effectively lost majority in Parliament after a key partner of the ruling coalition joined the ranks of the Opposition, which has tabled a no-confidence motion against his government in the National Assembly. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key ally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led coalition government, with its seven members announced that it has parted ways with the government during a joint press conference of the opposition parties. The voting on the no-confidence motion against Khan will be held on April 3, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said Tuesday.

Pakistan plunged into uncertainty on March 8 after the combined opposition submitted the motion with the National Assembly along with a requisition to the speaker to summon the session within mandatory 14 days. Prime Minister Khan, who needs 172 votes in the house of 342 to foil the Opposition’s bid to topple him, is facing his toughest political test since assuming office in 2018 as defections in his party and cracks in the ruling coalition appear to have made his position fragile. No prime minister in Pakistan’s history has ever been ousted through a no-confidence motion, and Khan is the third premier to face the challenge.

A key partner of the ruling coalition in Pakistan on Wednesday said it will support Opposition’s no-confidence motion in the National Assembly, in a major blow to embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan who has now effectively lost majority in Parliament.

Addressing a press conference here, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key ally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led coalition government, formally announced that it was joining the opposition ranks. “We want to make a new beginning for politics of tolerance and true democracy,” said MQM-P chief Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

The Khan government effectively lost majority after the MQM-P with its seven members decided to join the opposition. Another ally of the ruling coalition, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) with five members in the lower house had announced on Monday that it had “accepted the opposition’s invitation” to vote against Khan.

The Indian Express

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