Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday effectively lost majority in Parliament after Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key partner of the ruling coalition, joined the ranks of the Opposition, which had tabled a no-confidence motion against his government in the National Assembly.
Khan has been claiming that the Opposition’s no-confidence motion against him was the result of a “foreign conspiracy” because of his external policy and funds were being channelled from abroad to oust him from power.
On Wednesday, the PTI-led government confirmed that its allegation about a foreign conspiracy against the prime minister was based on a diplomatic cable received from one of the country’s missions abroad.
The government initially offered to share the letter with the chief justice of Pakistan, but later the prime minister also briefed his cabinet members about the contents of the letter, the Dawn newspaper reported.A group of journalists were then provided with minutes of the cabinet meeting at their interaction with the prime minister.
Though no foreign government was named in that meeting, the media persons were informed that a Pakistani envoy was told by a senior official of the host country that they had issues with Prime Minister Khan’s foreign policy, especially his visit to Russia and the stance on the ongoing Ukrainian war, the report said.
Earlier this month, Pakistan had abstained from voting in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling on Russia to stop the war, and urged that the conflict be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.According to the Dawn report, the Pakistani envoy was conveyed that the future trajectory of relations between the two countries was contingent upon the fate of the no-confidence motion that the Opposition parties were then planning to bring against Khan.
The envoy was warned of serious implications if Prime Minister Khan survived the no-trust vote, it said.
The cable was reportedly sent on March 7, a day before the Opposition submitted the no-confidence motion and requisitioned a National Assembly session for voting on it.
Meanwhile, it has separately emerged that the cable was sent by Pakistan’s then ambassador to United States Asad Majeed on the basis of his meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Ambassador Majeed has now moved to Brussels to take up his new assignment and has been replaced by Ambassador Masood Khan.
Meanwhile, the US State Department on Wednesday asserted that no US government agency or official had sent a letter to Pakistan on the current political situation in the country, the report said.
Responding to questions from Dawn about the alleged letter and US involvement in the no-confidence motion against the PTI government, a State Department spokesperson said: “There is no truth to these allegations.” According to some diplomatic sources in Washington, the letter could be a diplomatic cable from Washington, drafted by a senior Pakistani diplomat.
“The contents of the letter, apparently, are based on informal discussions between Pakistani and other officials,” the Dawn quoted one diplomatic source as saying.
“The contents, if correct, show a set of friendly officials from various countries indulging in some loud-thinking and probing. Nothing more,” the source added.
The sources said such conversations often happened in capital cities around the world and diplomats often shared the contents of such conversations with authorities in their home countries.“The purpose behind such cables is to keep your government informed. It’s no sign of a conspiracy against a government or a personality,” another diplomatic source was quoted as saying in the report.