Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday insisted that the fate of the opposition's no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan would be decided by March 31.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rashid said the situation on the day of voting on the no-confidence resolution could change even an hour before the vote, observing that it was the opposition, and not the government, that needed to show the strength of 172 lawmakers.
"People must shun the idea that Imran's politics is teetering on the brink, especially after his 'great' rally in Islamabad a day ago."
He also called the opposition's campaign against the prime minister "a conspiracy to weaken Pakistan".
The interior minister said international conspiracies were often hatched against countries with a weak economy. "An independent foreign policy can only be introduced by a brave leader," he said, referring to the prime minister.
In response to a question about the claim made by the premier that he had written evidence of a "foreign-funded conspiracy" out to topple his government, Rashid reiterated that international conspiracies were a reality, but added he no idea about the letter that the PM had referred to in his speech on Sunday.
Talking about national institutions, the minister said he saw Pakistan Army as a symbol of Pakistan's integrity. "They keep an eye on politics as a whole and not any individual ... whatever they decide will be in favour of Pakistan," he said.
The interior minister clarified that the no-objection certificate given to the JUI-F for a rally in the capital had expired, while the PML-N still had permission to hold a public gathering today.
To a question about PTI's allies in Punjab and Centre, Rashid said he did not want to annoy PML-Q, adding that he respected the Chaudhrys. "But I do not forgive those who attack me."
He also informed journalists that the prime minister had turned down his proposal to call [fresh] elections, dissolve the Punjab Assembly and impose governor's rule in Sindh.