New Delhi: Pakistan's embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday asserted that he will not resign from the post and play till the last ball. In a live address to the nation, the 69-year-old leader said that he will face the no-trust vote scheduled on Sunday (April 3).
He also alleged that there is a foreign conspiracy working against his government. There are enemies inside the country who are cooperating with them, added Mr Khan, who has virtually lost the majority in the 342-member National Assembly after the defection of two key allies.
"We are getting messages from some foreign countries... They say that they will forgive Pakistan if Imran Khan goes," he said in an address to the nation this evening.
Referring to the vote of confidence on Sunday, he said that is when the "country's future will be decided".
Mr Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) needs 172 votes in the lower house of 342 to foil the Opposition's bid to topple him. The Opposition has claimed that it has the support of 175 lawmakers and the Prime Minister should immediately resign.
If Mr Khan is unable to prove his majority in Sunday's vote, he will be the first Prime Minister in the country to be ousted through a no-confidence motion.
Referring to the conspiracy, which he first mentioned three days ago, Imran Khan alleged on national television that there have been messages that "if they fail to oust me, Pakistan will have to face difficult circumstances".
"Three stooges are sitting here working with foreign powers. They want Imran Khan to be ousted and want this certain person to take this place and everything will be fine then," he said. "If you think that your conspiracy will be successful, I want to tell you I will fight with this. They can't do anything," he said.
"I bear my own expenses, I live in my own houses, I don't have any factories," he added, slamming political opponent Nawaz Sharif.
There was also a broad hint about one of the foreign powers that might be involved.
"People said that we are US's collaborators. So many Pakistanis sacrificed their lives. Did anyone thank us for that? We were told if we don't back America, they will turn on us like a wounded bear. During 9/11, we said that if there's a terror incident in the US, we should help them but that wasn't our war to fight," he said.
"I chose to enter politics to realise the vision of our founders," he said. "Most people before joining politics are unknown names. But that wasn't my case. I was endowed with everything... I wouldn't have entered politics, had Allah not put Imaan (faith) in me," he added.
No Pakistani Prime Minister has completed a full five-year term in office. On the other hand, no one has ever been ousted through a no-confidence motion. Mr Khan is the third Prime Minister to face the challenge.