Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled his planned national address in advance of a no-trust vote. Mr Khan made the declaration that he would cancel his address after meeting with the Pakistani Army leader and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) earlier today. Later that evening, the leaders of the army and the ISI met with Mr Khan once again.
Pakistani Senator Faisal Javed Khan of Mr Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI, confirmed the embattled Prime Minister’s cancellation of his address today in a tweet.
Mr Khan’s position appeared to be in jeopardy when a major coalition partner switched sides ahead of the parliamentary no-confidence vote this weekend.
For weeks, the cricketer-turned-politician has faced political turbulence in a country where no Prime Minister has served a complete term. Mr Khan is facing the most serious threat to his leadership since his election in 2018, with critics accusing him of economic incompetence and foreign-policy blunders.
The discussion on the no-confidence motion is set to begin tomorrow, leaving Mr Khan scurrying to keep his own PTI members – as well as a plethora of minority parties – on board.
On paper, the PTI and coalition allies have 176 seats in the 342-member legislature, but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM-P, said today that its seven MPs will vote with the opposition, which has a total of 163 seats.
More than a dozen PTI MPs have also stated that they will vote, while party officials are attempting to have the courts block them from doing so on Sunday.