Pakistan’s opposition is urging Prime Minister Khan to step down before the vote to oust him

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan is being criticized for his performance and management of the country’s economy.
  • Opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called on Khan to step down and make room for a new leader.
  • Parliament is expected to vote on Sunday on whether to remove Khan as prime minister.

Pakistan’s opposition on Thursday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down ahead of a parliamentary vote, which could lead to the former cricket star being ousted and returning to political insecurity in the nuclear-armed country.

Khan, 69, has come under increasing criticism for his achievements, including his management of an economy plagued by high inflation and rising deficits, and he lost his majority in parliament on Wednesday when a key ally left his coalition.

“We want to send Imran Khan a message that there is no safe passage for you,” Opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, told reporters in parliament.

“I want to give you a suggestion that you take an honorable exit, and an honorable exit is that you step down today and let the opposition leader take the oath of office of the leader of the House.”

Khan is due to speak to the nation on Thursday as parliament votes on whether to oust him as prime minister on Sunday at 11.30am.

“The Prime Minister is virtually gone,” the influential English-language newspaper Dawn said in an editorial on the front page of its website on Thursday.

ALSO READ | 6 Pakistani soldiers killed in local Taliban attacks

On Wednesday, Khan’s main parliamentary ally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), abandoned his coalition and threw his lot with the opposition, which sought to oust him.

Opposition leaders had called for Khan to resign, even before he lost his majority in parliament, but his aides have said he will not resign.

Khan’s removal could mean another round of instability in a country where the military has a long history of intervening in politics and where no prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term.

Political analysts said Khan enjoyed the support of the military when he won an election to become prime minister in 2018, but he later lost the generals’ favor over various quarrels.

Khan has denied ever having supported the military and the military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half of its history, refuses to be involved in civilian politics.

Never miss a story. Choose from our selection of newsletters to have the news you want delivered directly to your inbox.

Pakistan’s opposition is urging Prime Minister Khan to step down before the vote to oust him

Source link Pakistan’s opposition is urging Prime Minister Khan to step down before the vote to oust him

Back to top button