Pakistani Prime Minister Khan’s survival hangs in the balance as parliament prepares to vote

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ISLAMABAD, April 3 (Reuters) – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s career was at stake on Sunday as he faced a tough vote to oust him, which could lead to further political instability in the country of 220 million people. inhabitants with nuclear weapons.

A united opposition tabled a no-confidence motion against Khan for a parliamentary session starting at 11:30 a.m. (0630 GMT). If they remain united, Khan would have to fall below the 172 votes needed to survive the vote of no confidence. Read more

On the streets of the capital Islamabad, there was a heavy police and paramilitary presence, with shipping containers used to block roads, a Reuters witness said.

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The opposition blames Khan for failing to revive the economy and crack down on corruption. He says, without citing evidence, that the decision to oust him was orchestrated by the United States, a claim Washington denies. Read more

The opposition and analysts say Khan, who came to power in 2018 with backing from the powerful military, fell out with her, a charge he and the military deny.

No prime minister has completed a full five-year term since independence from Britain in 1947, and generals have repeatedly ruled the country, which is perpetually at odds with its beleaguered neighbour, India. of nuclear weapon.

In addition to an economic crisis, with Islamabad seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund, Pakistan faces challenges including an attempt to balance global pressure to induce the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan to meet their of human rights while trying to limit instability there.

Khan lost his majority in parliament after allies left his coalition government and a series of defections from his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Pakistan’s most popular English-language newspaper, Dawn, said Khan was “almost gone”, but the former cricketing champion urged his supporters to take to the streets on Sunday ahead of the vote and said he would not would not accept an unfavorable vote. Read more

“How can I accept the result when the whole process is discredited? Khan told foreign reporters in his office on Saturday. “Democracy works on moral authority – what moral authority remains after this collusion?”

“The decision to oust me is a gross interference in the domestic politics of the United States,” he said, calling it an attempt at “regime change.”

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), said on Saturday night that Khan would try to retain power despite losing his majority. “We are concerned that the Prime Minister will take unconstitutional measures to save his seat.”

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Reporting by Asif Shahzad in Islamabad; Written by Alasdair Pal; Editing by William Mallard

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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