Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Friday that a plot to assassinate PM Imran Khan had been reported by security agencies so his security is heightened.
“After these reports, the prime minister’s security has been beefed up as per the government’s decision,” he said.
Faisal Vawda of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) made similar allegations earlier this week. He asserted that assassins were plotting to assassinate the prime minister after he refused to “sell the country”.
Vawda had made the remarks on the ARY News show ‘Off the Record‘ in response to a question about a letter PM Khan brandished at the PTI’s March 27 power show in Islamabad. He claimed it contained “evidence” of a “foreign conspiracy” to topple his government.
He said there was a threat to the prime minister’s life but remained evasive when asked whether the purported conspiracy to assassinate the premier was mentioned in the letter.
He also said that the prime minister was told multiple times that bulletproof glass needed to be installed before his dais at the March 27 rally. “But as always and as usual, he said ‘my [death] will come when Allah wills. Don’t worry about it’,” Vawda quoted him as saying.
An international conspiracy
The news comes a day after the prime minister, during a nearly hour-long live address to the nation, vowed to foil “an international conspiracy” hatched against his government by opposition leaders and their alleged handlers ahead of the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly.
In an apparent slip of the tongue, he had revealed the name of the United States as the country behind the “threat letter”. However, reacting to the prime minister’s address, opposition parties had declared him to be a “security threat”.
PM Khan had shared the letter on Wednesday with his cabinet members in a hurriedly called meeting. However, it was not attended by PTI’s two major allies — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) despite being invited. The letter was reportedly shown to the cabinet members on a TV screen.
The premier had also called a selected group of TV anchors and informed them that “the language of the letter was threatening and arrogant” and that Pakistan would face dire consequences if the no-confidence motion failed. However, he did not show the letter to the media.
Apparently, the PM rushed to share the document with the cabinet and some journalists after it became apparent that he had lost his majority in the National Assembly following the MQM-P’s decision to support the joint opposition’s no-trust resolution against him.
As one of the PTI government’s closest allies, the MQM-P possesses seven seats in the National Assembly. By splitting with the government, the opposition now has 177 seats, five more than the 172 needed to become the majority party.
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