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US rejects allegations as Pak PM mistakenly names ‘America’ for conspiracy during address to nation

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WASHINGTON/ ISLAMABAD: The US State Department and White House together spurned allegation of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan as he mistakenly named United States of America for conspiracy for attempting to topple his government during address to nation. While the security agencies have found out an “assassination plan” to target Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday.

The combined opposition termed on Thursday speech of PM Khan as that of a ‘defeated man’, who tells lies to the people to save his power and is targeting Pakistan to save his power.

Khan added, that he would not resign at any cost and would “never allow this conspiracy” to succeed.

Talking about the “threatening memo” that the PM claimed to have received against his government from a foreign country, he named the United States to be behind the conspiracy.

In an apparent slip of the tongue, he named “the United States…” but quickly moved on and stated that “a foreign country” had sent a “threatening memo” which was against the Pakistani nation.

“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.

PM Imran Khan said the memo was against him, not against the government. “

It further stated, if the no-confidence motion passes, Pakistan will be forgiven, if not, there will be consequences.”

The premier stated that it was an “official letter” that was communicated to Pakistan’s ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting.

he had not revealed all the text mentioned in the letter but noted that there “were other horrifying” details in it, premier highlighted.

PM Khan said, envoy was told that if Imran Khan remains in power, Pakistan would face “difficulties”.

“Is this our standing? We are a strong nation of 220 million,” the premier asked the nation.

“Our ambassador told the foreign official that the prime minister had visited Russia after deliberations with the country’s top brass. But the foreign official stated that no, it was just Imran Khan’s decision,” khan revealed.

Khan further added, foreign official knew 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, as he referred to the “three stooges” PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

PM Imran Khan said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was convicted in Pakistani courts. Lashing out at 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.

The premier said the foreign powers were well-aware of the properties and assets of the “corrupt” politicians as he gave a reason behind the Opposition’s readiness to “follow foreign orders.”

After Deputy NA Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the lower house session to avoid the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing the nation. 

The prime minister wondered why were the “three stooges” acceptable to the foreign powers. “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 10 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.

The prime minister said Fazl, according to WikiLeaks, told the former United States ambassador to Pakistan, that he will serve America just like the others. “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,” the prime minister said on Opposition leaders’ acceptability to foreign powers.

Imran Khan lamented that during the “war on terror”, overseas Pakistanis were put behind bars, and no government raised reservations over it as they feared the repercussions.

“You have never taken a stand for Pakistanis, Shahbaz. Neither can your brother Nawaz as they know where his money is stashed,” khan said.

The premier mentioned, the Opposition claimed that if the “threat letter” was real, they would side with him. “So why did you not partake in the NA committee session where it was presented.”

Khan added, he briefed the federal cabinet about it, senior journalists were informed about it, and later it was presented before the National Security Committee and the Parliament. The voting on the no-confidence motion would take place on Sunday, which would define Pakistan’s future.

He said that even though the Opposition is trying to pressurise him so that he steps down, he said reiterated that such a thing would not happen.

unlike others, he did not join politics because someone handed him over a chit, or because my family members were in politics, he added.

“I made it to this office through sheer struggle, therefore, no matter how much they try, I would not resign at any cost,” the premier said. 

He further stressed that he would “never allow this conspiracy” to succeed. 

The White House responded early Friday to the PM’s speech, in which he named the US government over the no-trust motion against him.

During a regular press briefing, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield categorically rejected PM Imran Khan’s allegation.

Responding to a question that the Prime Minister of Pakistan accused the US government of working to remove him from power, Bedingfield said, “absolutely no truth to that allegation”.

A day earlier, responding to a question regarding the ‘threat letter,’ the US State Department categorically rejected any kind of involvement in the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan.

“Allegations of US involvement in the no-trust motion and ‘threat letter’ to PM Imran Khan are baseless,” said the State Department.

Meanwhile, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price also rejected Imran Khan’s statement that the US government is trying to oust him.

During a regular press briefing, Price was asked to comment on PM Imran Khan’s allegation, to which the US official said, “we are closely following developments in Pakistan, we respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and rule of law”.

“However, when it comes to that allegation, there is no truth to it,” he concluded.

On Sunday, the premier, during what PTI labelled as one of its “biggest” rallies in its history at the Parade Ground in Islamabad, flashed a letter before the public, saying that he has “written evidence” that “money has been pouring in from abroad,” while “some of our people are being used to topple the government.”

He had said that for months, “plotting and planning is being carried out to influence the foreign policy of Pakistan from outside.”

PM Imran Khan 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.”

The premier stated that it was an “official letter” that was communicated to Pakistan’s ambassador, who was taking notes during the meeting.

After the National Security Committee (NSC) decision to issue a strong demarche to the country whose official communicated the “threat”.

Pakistan also summoned the US acting deputy chief of mission in Islamabad over the ‘threat letter’ and registered strong protest for the undiplomatic language used against Pakistan in the memo, local media reported.

Pakistan told the US envoy that interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan is unacceptable.

Information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the government has decided to increase the security of the prime minister after security agencies informed govt regarding assassination plan. 

Earlier, former federal minister and close aid to Imran Khan, Faisal Wavda also disclosed during a tv program that Imran Khan also have life threats.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif dubbed Prime Minister Imran Khan as a security risk for the country and said he has targeted Pakistan to save power. Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed the speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan as that of a ‘defeated man’ whose every promise has been a u-turn or betrayal.

In his reaction to Khan’s speech, the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, said, “Your corruption and incompetence have brought economic, social and foreign catastrophe to the country.”

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in his reaction in local media capital talk with senior journalist Hamid Mir, said “I did not watch the former prime minister’s speech as I believe that he is repeating the same things and people of Pakistan have recognized his lies now. They know that this man has not fulfilled one promise in the past three years. Every promise has been a u-turn or betrayal.”

Bilawal Bhutto said that this man has made the country a slave of the IMF and harmed the Kashmir policy. “Imran Khan has sabotaged the CPEC as per an international conspiracy, he did not spare our economy, foreign policy and democracy while the common man is bearing the burden of the destruction that has been going on in the name of change,” he said.

He said when defeat that has come through a democratic mean is clear and there is no other way to escape it, such blames are not appropriate. “He should take an honourable exit instead of trying to find a safe exit. He should have resigned in today’s speech,” he said. “Imran Khan should face us in the voting on Sunday and respect democracy. He should not try to fool the people of Pakistan.”

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Chief and Ameer of Jamiat e Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazl ur Rehman said Imran Khan’s came into power was a conspiracy against Pakistan, not his removal. He asked Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday why the US envoy was invited to the OIC summit if the letter was threatening?

Maulana poked fun at the Prime Minister, saying he had constantly labeled others as “thieves” but couldn’t prove it.

If this letter is so harmful, Maulana questioned why the premier did not summon the US ambassador to record the protest.

According to Maulana, this letter is not a diplomatic cable.

Maulana stated, when the prime met former President Donald Trump, he was overjoyed, as if he had won the World Cup. Today, the current US President did not call Prime Minister Imran, which is why he took a stance against the US.

Meanwhile, ex-foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar, said that the premier has sabotaged US-Pakistan relations to save his government. 

Talking to local media she said, “Thirty years from now, no one will remember who Imran Khan was,” she said. “People will only remember that there was a prime who sabotaged the US-Pakistan relations to save his own government.”

Khar went on to say that the biggest problem with PM Imran Khan is that he hurts the cause of Pakistan while attempting to hurt his opponents.

‘PM Khan waved Pakistan’s internal cable before public’

She added that once a person is appointed to the office of the prime minister, they have to assume certain responsibilities. 

“I am really angry and upset over the way PM Imran Khan behaved so irresponsibly,” Khar proclaimed. “This was Pakistan’s internal cable which the premier was waving before the public, calling it a letter.”

She further stated, it is a routine exercise for ambassadors to send diplomatic cables to their countries.

“Whenever there is a message or an important matter, the ambassador sends the diplomatic cable to the head of the government,” she mentioned. 

The former foreign minister added that using a diplomatic cable to one’s own advantage and calling it a conspiracy against the prime minister [by foreign powers] is a “dangerous stand”.

Khar criticised PM Imran Khan for saying that the cable had arrived even before the Opposition had tabled the no-confidence motion to oust him from office. 

“We have foreign ambassadors of many countries living in Pakistan who send diplomatic cables detailing the country’s situation to their capitals on a daily basis,” she said. 

She said that the entire world was aware that the Opposition in Pakistan considering a no-trust motion against the premier.

‘PPP consistently condemned drone attacks during tenure’

Responding to PM Khan’s comments about the previous government that they had remained silent on the issue of US drone attacks in Pakistan, Khar said that during its tenure, the PPP government had “consistently condemned the drone attacks in the strongest possible manner.”

The ex-FM said that to register its condemnation, the PPP government had even invited the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to Pakistan.

“The issue of drone strikes has ended in this region since the war is over now but when we were in power, it was quite the trend here,” she said. 

She asserted that during that time, any prime minister even if it were to be Imran Khan, would have been a part of the United States’ drone policy.

“It is very easy for Imran Khan to continually lie about the tenures of other political leaders,” she said.

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