Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday fired a broadside at the opposition that has filed a no-trust motion against him in the National Assembly, warning them that "you are going to lose this match badly."
The premier faces a major threat in the National Assembly as his fate is set to be decided in a no-trust resolution amid a number of own party's MNAs turning against him and indicating that they would vote against him — something that he and his ministers allege has been due to bribes offered by the opposition alliance.
Speaking at a rally in Malakand, PM Imran said he had been advised to offer like-for-like bribes and bring back dissident MNAs to the party fold. He said he would prefer to lose his government than offer bribes and take the same route as the opposition allegedly has.
"I curse on the government that requires me to bring back defected leaders using public money," he told the rally.
PM Imran vowed to "forgive" his MNAs who have threatened to defect and vote against him in the upcoming no-trust move, saying "I will forgive you if you come back. We all commit mistakes. I am like a father who forgives his children and I will pardon you as well."
He asked the "turncoats" to think of their children and their families who he said would not be given respect and honour anywhere if they go through with their plans.
The prime minister criticised Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and other opposition leaders who called him out for saying "absolutely not" to the US request for military bases in Pakistan and elucidated the context of his statement.
"I had said absolutely not to a question when I was asked whether Pakistan will give a base to US in Pakistan for actions in Afghanistan... we cannot afford such an approach," the premier explained.
He said he had told the America time and again that Pakistan would support it in peace and not in any war.
The premier then fired a broadside at Shehbaz for objecting to his criticism of European Union envoys who had urged Pakistan to condemn Russia in the United Nations. Imran said the EU ambassadors had violated the protocol by asking Pakistan to condemn Russia.
"I rightly asked them whether they will write a similar letter to India... Are we their slaves that they ask us to give a statement against any country," the PM said in a reiteration of his statement against the EU representatives earlier this month.