mcloudy.png
Thursday August 18th, 2022 4:42PM

Pakistan's embattled PM ousted in no-confidence vote

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s political opposition toppled Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no-confidence vote in Parliament early Sunday after several political allies and a key party in his ruling coalition deserted him.

The opposition, which spans the political spectrum from leftists to religious radicals, will form a new government. The head of one of the largest parties, a brother of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is likely to take over as prime minister if confirmed in a vote Monday.

Anticipating his loss, Khan, who charged the opposition colluded with the United States to unseat him, has called on his supporters to stage rallies nationwide on Sunday. Khan’s options are limited, though. Should he see a big turnout in his support, he may try to keep the momentum of street protests as a way to pressure Parliament to hold early elections.

Khan earlier had tried to sidestep the vote by dissolving Parliament and calling early elections but a Supreme Court ruling ordered the vote to go ahead.

The vote comes amid cooling relations between Khan and Pakistan's powerful military, which many of his political opponents allege helped him come to power in general elections in 2018. The military has directly ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75 years and wields considerable power over civilian governments.

In seeking Khan's ouster, the opposition had accused him of economic mismanagement as inflation soars and the Pakistani rupee plummets in value. The vote caps months of political turmoil and a constitutional crisis that required the Supreme Court to step in.

In an impassioned speech Friday, Khan doubled down on his accusations that his opponents colluded with the United States to unseat him over his foreign policy choices, which often seemed to favor China and Russia and defied the U.S.

Khan said Washington opposed his Feb. 24 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. The meeting took place hours after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, launching a devastating war in the heart of Europe.

Ahead of the vote, a member of Khan's Cabinet referred to an earlier claim by Khan that Pakistani diplomats in Washington were told by a senior U.S. official that relations would improve if Khan was ousted.

Human rights minister Shireen Mazari told Parliament that the purported memo by the U.S. official stated that “all would be forgiven" if Khan was out of power. She went on to ask: “Forgiven for what? What is our sin?”

The U.S. State Department has denied any involvement in Pakistan’s internal politics. Deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters on Friday there was “absolutely no truth to these allegations.”

Still, Khan urged his supporters to take to the streets, particularly the youth who have been the backbone of his support since the former cricket star turned conservative Islamist politician came to power in 2018. He said they needed to protect Pakistan’s sovereignty and oppose alleged U.S. dictates.

“You have to come out to protect your own future. It is you who have to protect your democracy, your sovereignty and your independence. ... This is your duty,” he said. “I will not accept an imposed government."

Khan's allegations of U.S. involvement are likely to resonate with many in Pakistan, says Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington -based Wilson Center.

“Khan’s conspiracy allegations will resonate in a country where there’s a tendency to ascribe the worst possible motives to U.S. policy, especially because there is a past history of U.S. meddling in Pakistani politics,” said Kugelman.

Khan’s allegations of U.S. involvement in attempts to oust him also exploit a deep-seated mistrust among many in Pakistan of U.S. intentions, particularly following 9/11.

Washington has often berated Pakistan for doing too little to fight Islamic militants, even as thousands of Pakistanis have died at their hands and the army has lost more than 5,000 soldiers. Pakistan has been accused of aiding Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents while also being asked to bring them to the peace table.

The no-confidence vote loss for Khan brings to power some unlikely partners.

Among them is a radically religious party that runs scores of religious schools. The Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islam, or Assembly of Clerics, teaches a deeply conservative brand of Islam in its schools. Many of Afghanistan's Taliban and Pakistan's own homegrown violent Taliban graduated from JUI schools.

The largest among the opposition parties — the Pakistan People’s Party, led by the son of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and the Pakistan Muslim League — have been tainted by allegations of widespread corruption.

Pakistan Muslim League leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was convicted of corruption after being named in the so-called Panama Papers. That's a collection of leaked secret financial documents showing how some of the world’s richest hide their money and involving a global law firm based in Panama. Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court from holding office. The new prime minister is expected to be Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif after a vote for the new prime minister is held in Parliament on Monday.

“This would be the first time in Pakistan’s history that a no-confidence vote succeeds in ousting a Prime Minister -- the fulfilment of a constitutional process that was far from guaranteed after Khan’s attempts to derail the vote,” said Elizabeth Threlkeld, Pakistan expert at the U.S.-based The Stimson Center. “That, in itself, is significant, and could give Pakistan something to build on going forward.”

___

Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report. Follow Kathy Gannon on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Kathygannon

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pakistan's embattled PM ousted in no-confidence vote
Pakistan’s political opposition ousted the country’s embattled prime minister in a no confidence vote they won after several of Imran Khan’s allies and a key coalition party deserted him
4:06PM ( 9 minutes ago )
The AP Interview: Zelenskyy seeks peace despite atrocities
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he's committed to pressing for peace despite Russian attacks on civilians that have stunned the world
4:06PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Last Day: Embiid closing in history, NBA matchups to be set
Joel Embiid is about to make history
4:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
S&P downgrade indicates Russia headed for historic default
The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded its assessment of Russia’s ability to repay foreign debt
3:21PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Live Updates | Scheffler tries to protect big Masters lead
Scottie Scheffler is looking to protect a big lead in the third round of the Masters
3:19PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins killed in auto accident
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been killed in an auto accident near Fort Lauderdale, Florida
3:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
More civilians flee east Ukraine after deadly station strike
Civilian evacuations are moving forward in patches of battle-scarred eastern Ukraine a day after a missile strike killed at least 52 people at a train station where thousands were waiting to leave before an expected Russian onslaught
12:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
Juvenile lifer seeks reprieve amid broader push for leniency
Attorneys for an Arizona man who was sentenced to life in federal prison for crimes he committed as a juvenile are pushing for his time to be cut short
11:07AM ( 5 hours ago )
Florida groups canvass spring breakers to warn of fentanyl
Community activists in South Florida sprang into action after West Point cadets on spring break were sickened by fentanyl-laced cocaine at a house party
10:22AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Feds accused of ignoring asbestos, mold at women's prison
A government watchdog has found a “substantial likelihood” that the federal Bureau of Prisons committed wrongdoing when it ignored complaints and failed to address asbestos and mold contamination at a federal women’s prison in California
1:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Decade after hepatitis outbreak, medical registry might end
A decade after New Hampshire stopped a traveling medical technician who had been stealing drugs and infecting patients with hepatitis C, the Legislature might eliminate a registration system aimed at preventing similar misconduct
10:50AM ( 5 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Why would nuclear plant dump wastewater into bay?
One million gallons of radioactive water is inside a former nuclear power plant along Cape Cod Bay and it has got to go
8:11AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Kentucky governor vetoes proposed 15-week abortion ban
Kentucky's Democratic has vetoed a Republican-backed measure to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy
7:17PM ( 20 hours ago )
Ohio GOP Senate hopeful: Middle class doesn't pay fair share
Mike Gibbons, a leading Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, said at a media event last fall that middle-class Americans don’t pay “any kind of a fair share” of income taxes
6:54PM ( 21 hours ago )
Trans kids fear Alabama laws targeting medicine, bathrooms
Transgender kids and their parents say they feel attacked by a wave of Republican-sponsored legislation and policies aimed at trans youth
6:46PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Live Updates | Zelenskyy committed to peace, needs guns now
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told The Associated Press on Saturday that he is committed to seeking peace, despite Russian attacks on civilians that have stunned the world
3:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live Updates | Italy securing more Algerian natural gas
An Italian government source tells The Associated Press that Italian Premier Mario Draghi is traveling to Algeria on Monday to sign a deal for more gas
2:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
Pressure mounts on Sri Lanka leader to quit as crisis grows
Thousands of Sri Lankans have rallied in the country’s main business district and Christian clergy marched in the capital to observe a day of protest calling on the debt-ridden nation’s president to resign
1:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
The AP Interview: Zelenskyy seeks peace despite atrocities
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he's committed to pressing for peace despite Russian attacks on civilians that have stunned the world
4:06PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Last Day: Embiid closing in history, NBA matchups to be set
Joel Embiid is about to make history
4:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
In outcome of Whitmer case, some see freedom, others danger
That a jury didn't convict any of the four men charged with planning to kidnap Michigan Gov_ Gretchen Whitmer is further evidence of the political polarization in the U_S_ A defense lawyer for one of the men says it shows freedom still exists, and that the men's actions were nothing more than “rough talk.”
3:56PM ( 19 minutes ago )
In France, a nail-biting election as Macron's rival surges
For months, French President Emmanuel Macron looked certain to become the country's first leader in 20 years to win a second term
3:56PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Live Updates | Putin could meddle in US elections again
U.S. intelligence officials predict Russian President Vladimir Putin may use U.S. support for Ukraine as justification for a new campaign to interfere in American politics
3:52PM ( 23 minutes ago )