Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Thursday, 31 March, addressed the nation ahead of the voting on a no-trust resolution against him and said that he would not resign as he had never accepted defeat in life and would fight till the last ball.
He also alleged that there was a foreign conspiracy working against his government.
"When I played cricket for 20 years, the world and those who played cricket with me saw that I play till the last ball. I've never accepted defeat in life. Nobody should think that I will sit at home. I'll come back stronger, whatever may the result be [sic]," he said.
He also discussed a 'threat letter' that purportedly shows 'evidence' of a foreign conspiracy to oust his government.
Then, in what appeared to be a slip of the tongue, he named the United States as the country behind the threat.
"...the letter stated that the no-confidence motion was being tabled even before it was filed, which means the Opposition was in contact with them," the premier alleged.
He said the memo was against him, not against the government.
"...it stated that if the no-confidence motion passes, Pakistan will be forgiven. If not, there will be consequences."
Imran Khan said that it was an "official letter that was communicated to Pakistan's ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting."
Imran said he had not revealed all the contents of the letter but said that there were "other horrifying" details in it.
Imran said the envoy was told that Pakistan would face difficulties if Imran Khan remained in power.
"Is this our standing? We are a strong nation of 220 million," he said.
He also informed that the letter did not mention any reason and only wanted his ouster.
"...our ambassador told the foreign official that the prime minister had visited Russia after delibrations with [the country's top brass]. But the foreign official stated that no, it was just Imran Khan's decision," he revealed.
Imran Khan said the foreign official was aware that the ones who would "come into power after him would have no issues taking orders from external forces."
"But what is most disturbing is that our people, who are sitting here, are in contact with foreign powers," he said, referring to the "three stooges" – PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, and PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
'Opposition Ready To Follow Foreign Orders'
He further said Nawaz Sharif was convicted in Pakistani courts. Attacking the Opposition, he said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other institutions had made cases against them.
"Will foreign countries want such corrupt people in power in their states? They are ready to accept such corrupt politicians, but I am not acceptable to them," the prime minister said.
He said the foreign powers were well-aware of the "properties and assets of the corrupt politicians."
Talking about the "three stooges" being acceptable to the foreign powers, he said, "I will tell you why they are acceptable. During dictator Pervez Musharraf's tenure, only 11 drone attacks took place, but after them, during the ten years of [PPP and PML-N's] tenure, 400 drone attacks took place."
"They did not even utter a single word against it [...] Even Hamid Karzai, who was the president of Afghanistan where the US forces were present, would condemn the drone attacks, but our politicians did not express reservations against it," he said.
"Nawaz Sharif, according to Indian journalist Barkha Dutt, held secretive meetings with Narendra Modi in Nepal."
"Shahbaz claimed that I was wrong to say absolutely not to the United States [...] this is why they like them."
'Only Spoke Against India When They Changed Kashmir's Status': Imran
Imran said he only spoke against India when the country changed Kashmir's status.
"Before that, I made all efforts to befriend India. Our policy was not anti-US, -Europe, or even India [...] it became anti-Indian after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir and broke international law in August 2019," he said.
Pak National Assembly Adjourned Till Sunday
Meanwhile, the National Assembly session to debate the no-confidence motion against Pakistan PM Imran Khan was adjourned to 3 April, minutes after it began on Thursday, 31 March. The session will now resume at 11:30 am (PST) on Sunday.
More than 172 members from the Opposition benches were in attendance on Thursday. As the session kicked off, all the Opposition members demanded that the deputy speaker allow voting on the no-confidence motion.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said due to the "non-serious" attitude of the Opposition lawmakers, the session was being adjourned till Sunday. This came almost 10 minutes after the session had started.
'No Truth': US on Imran Khan's Allegation of 'Foreign Conspiracy'
The United States on Thursday, 31 March, rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's insinuation that Washington had a role in alleged attempt to oust him from power, reported news agency ANI.
A US State Department spokesperson told ANI that there was no truth to these allegations, adding that they are closely following developments in Pakistan.
"We respect and support Pakistan's constitutional process and the rule of law," the spokesperson said.
Pakistan's Opposition in parliament has blamed Khan's government for the economic crisis and the rising inflation in the country.
On 8 March, a motion of no confidence was submitted to the National Assembly Secretariat by the Opposition parties.
It was tabled in parliament on 28 March, with the vote scheduled for 3 April.
Khan had claimed a few days ago that he had support of the military, but a Pakistan Army spokesman last week told Pakistani media that the military would remain neutral.
(With inputs from Geo News and ANI.)