Islamabad [Pakistan]: The renaming of Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Office YouTube channel has triggered speculation that the beleaguered Imran Khan may step down as Prime Minister at the public rally called by him in Islamabad on Sunday.
The rally is a show of strength by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as the opposition is geared up for a no-trust vote in the National Assembly to oust his government. Imran Khan faces mounting economic and social challenges as his government battles corruption allegations levelled by the opposition.
The change in the YouTube channel’s name on Saturday has raised eyebrows. The channel had a verified tick when it was named Prime Minister’s Office and has now been renamed ‘Imran Khan’.
Imran Khan has been hard-hitting in his counter-offensive at the opposition terming Pakistan oppositions “dacoits” and has urged people to come in large numbers to Islamabad’s Parade Ground on March 27.
“I want my people to come to Parade Ground tomorrow, tomorrow we will show a sea of people!” PTI said in a tweet referring to Imran Khan.
The political challenges have mounted for Imran Khan even as his government is negotiating with IMF on USD 6 billion rescue package and battling unemployment and price rise.
The no-confidence motion was submitted by opposition parties on March 8 after the PPP’s long march in Islamabad. The Opposition is confident that its motion would be carried as many PTI lawmakers have come out in the open against PM Imran Khan.
As the crucial no-confidence motion session inches closer and uncertainty continues to shroud political alliances, at least fifty ministers belonging to the ruling party have gone ‘missing’ from the political front, Express Tribune said on Friday citing sources.
More than 50 of the federal and provincial ministers have not been seen in public since the opposition began stacking up perils against Prime Minister Imran Khan, the report said.
Imran Khan had on Wednesday said he will not “resign under any circumstances” amid mounting pressure from the opposition.
“I will not resign under any circumstance. I will play till the last ball and I will surprise them a day before as they are still under pressure. My trump card is that I have not laid any of my cards yet,” he had said.
Najam Sethi, a Pakistani journalist, said that Imran Khan has no “surprise” to give on Sunday and his ‘mind games” are meant for the military establishment and the judiciary for “positive” results.
“Imran Khan has no “surprise” to give tomorrow. He is playing “mind games” (big jalsas, good vs evil, high moral ground, etc) of which he is a self-confessed master! These “mind games” are meant to prey on the Miltablishment and Judiciary for “positive” results!” Sethi said in a tweet.
According to Geo News, Khan had said earlier this week that he had good relations with the military. But Pakistan army seems to have lost trust in Khan over his stance leading to a stand-off over the appointment of the intelligence agency’s – ISI chief.
The Pakistani National Assembly has 342 members and Imran Khan needs the support of 172 members to prove his majority.
The PTI led coalition was formed with the support of 179 members – PTI (155 members) and four major allies MQM-P, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) having seven, five, five and three members respectively.
Imran Khan and his party members are trying every trick under their sleeves to avert turmoil. After the move of the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan’s government got deferred to March 28 in the National Assembly, his party has intensified its efforts to woo its allies.
Opposition parties have said that Khan, who had come to power on the slogan of fighting corruption, was “found hiding crucial information” from the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding foreign funding case.
According to News International, The State Bank of Pakistan’s documents handed over to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the PTI foreign funding case show that information about transactions worth more than USD 2 million dollars from 14 different foreign countries and hundreds of millions rupees’ local transactions into the party’s bank accounts was not provided to the ECP authorities.
The report said the documents also show that Imran Khan’s PTI received USD 29,800 donations in 2013 from a businesswoman and her Pakistani American husband but their donation was also concealed from the ECP. (ANI)