Plot to assassinate Pakistani PM uncovered, minister claims
Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Friday that the country’s security agencies reported a plot to assassinate Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“After these reports, the prime minister’s security has been beefed up as per the government’s decision,” Chaudhry said, as cited by the Dawn media outlet.
A similar statement was made earlier this week by Faisal Vawda – leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, of which the PM is a member – who said there was a conspiracy developed to assassinate Khan over his refusal to “sell the country.”
Vawda claimed that the PM had been repeatedly told that bulletproof glass needed to be installed in front of his dais during his March 27 rally in Islamabad, but the leader refused. “But as always and as usual, he said my [death] will come when Allah wills. Don’t worry about it,” Vawda said.
The PTI leader reiterated that along with an upcoming vote of no-confidence, there was a threat on the prime minister’s life and that there have been mentions of an assassination.
The concerns over the potential plot come after Khan claimed that a certain foreign nation, which he tried not to name, had sent a message insisting he needs “to be removed” or else Pakistan will face consequences.
“America has – oh, not America but a foreign country I can’t name. I mean from a foreign country, we received a message,” he said in a televised address on Thursday. Khan added that the “threatening memo” was sent in an effort to meddle in his country’s political affairs.
The message reportedly came from Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, and included a recording of a senior Washington official suggesting that relations between the two countries would improve if Khan loses the no-confidence vote.
Khan has refused to bow to American pressure and condemn Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, arguing that Pakistan has nothing to gain by the move. However, this has made him a target for the US and its allies, which are already upset that neighboring India has also refused to join their sanctions campaign against Moscow.
On top of the mounting international pressure on the prime minister, he faces a no-confidence vote, while his party has lost its majority in parliament.