Neither army nor foreign country can safeguard democracy in Pakistan: Imran Khan

The 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician also announced that on Wednesday he will hold a meeting in Peshawar. "My first jalsa after being removed through a foreign- instigated regime change."
Imran Khan
Imran KhanReuters

Islamabad: Imran Khan on Tuesday called for early general elections in Pakistan and emphasised that no army or foreign country could safeguard democracy in the country.

In a video message posted on his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's official Twitter handle, days after he lost a no-trust vote in Parliament, the former prime minister said that only the people of Pakistan can safeguard their freedoms and the sanctity of democratic institutions.

He emphasised that no army or foreign country could safeguard democracy in Pakistan.

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.

The 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician also announced that on Wednesday he will hold a meeting in Peshawar. "My first jalsa after being removed through a foreign- instigated regime change."

"I want all our people to come, as Pakistan was created as an independent, sovereign state not as a puppet state of foreign powers," he said in a tweet.

He again claimed that a "grand conspiracy" had been imposed on Pakistan, referring to the joint opposition's no-confidence motion which had resulted in his ousting.

Khan on Sunday had vowed to begin the "freedom struggle against a foreign conspiracy" of regime change in Pakistan.

"Pakistan became an independent state in 1947; but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change," he wrote on his official Twitter handle on Sunday.

"It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty and democracy," he had said.

Khan has claimed that the Opposition's no-confidence motion against him was a huge foreign conspiracy against Pakistan.

The former premier claimed he had evidence, stating a letter had been sent by former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed after talks with the US assistant secretary of state for South Asia.

In response, the US categorically rejected Khan's allegations of a "foreign conspiracy" plotted in Washington, saying there was "absolutely no truth" to these claims.

Addressing the National Assembly on Monday after his election as Pakistan's 23rd Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif termed Khan's 'foreign conspiracy' claims as "drama".

Sharif said he will resign and go home if it is proved.

Pakistan's National Security Committee would be briefed on a controversial letter related to the so-called foreign conspiracy, he said.

Khan had alleged that the US was involved in a conspiracy to topple his government.

I will resign and go home if conspiracy is proved in letter controversy, Shehbaz said.

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