Pakistan's "freedom struggle" has begun again with the ouster of his government due to a "foreign conspiracy", said former prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday in his first comments since his unceremonious removal hours earlier.
Despite his government's hectic efforts to avoid voting on the no-confidence motion against Khan, the joint Opposition succeeded in its month-long efforts to oust Khan from the prime minister's office as 174 members of the 342-member National Assembly voted against him in early hours of Sunday after a day of high drama.
Khan has been claiming that the Opposition’s no-trust motion against him was the result of a “foreign conspiracy”. He has named the US as the country behind the conspiracy, a charge bluntly denied by Washington multiple times.
Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party has started protesting against the ouster. It's peddling Khan's line of a foreign hand toppling his government. In tweets shared by PTI, the incoming Pakistani government has been called "imported" and "foreign-funded". PTI on Sunday held protests at over two dozen locations across the country
Khan has alleged that Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in the US Department of State, was involved in the "foreign conspiracy" to topple his government.
Former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a passionate speech in Parliament on Saturday also echoed Khan's allegations of regime change being plotted by the US in Pakistan. He said the US National Security Adviser telephoned his Pakistani counterpart Moeed Yusuf and "categorically asked us not to proceed with the Russia tour" of Khan in February.
"Today Pakistan is standing at a historic juncture and the people need to decide whether they want to live in an independent state or become slaves [to the West],” Qureshi had said.
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. Khan, 69, has become the first prime minister to be removed through a no-confidence motion.
With PTI inputs