ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday said it intended to take the issue of the “international conspiracy” against it to the Supreme Court, and claimed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif was a part of the conspiracy.

In the PTI’s public meeting in Islamabad on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and waved it at the crowd, claiming the “letter” was evidence of an “international conspiracy” being hatched to topple his government.

On the other hand, the opposition believed the PM had used the so-called letter as an excuse to woo his government’s allies and dissident MNAs of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for the no-trust resolution against him, and urged the premier to present the “secret” and “threatening” letter before parliament and summon envoys of the countries allegedly involved in hatching the conspiracy.

Opposition asks PM to present document before parliament, summon envoys of countries involved in ‘anti-govt conspiracy’

In a joint press conference on Tuesday, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the prime minister had decided to present the letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial. “If someone has doubts, the prime minister says if necessary, and for the people’s satisfaction, he is ready to present the letter to the chief justice of the Supreme Court, as he enjoys a good reputation,” Mr Umar said, adding that only three to four people, including him, had seen the letter.

“The letter has been shared with the top civil and military leadership and only two or three cabinet members,” he added.

The letter was written and dated prior to the day the opposition submitted its no-trust motion against the prime minister to the National Assembly. “It was mentioned in the letter that a no-confidence motion will be moved against the PM. I myself have read the letter many times,” the minister claimed.

Mr Umar, who is also the PTI’s secretary general, alleged the principal character behind this plot against the government was Nawaz Sharif, who was facilitating the international establishment from London, while the senior leadership of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) could also be knowingly involved in this conspiracy.

When asked why the government was not presenting the letter in parliament, he said: “Due to the sensitivity of the letter, it cannot be shared with the over 340 members of parliament, but just to satisfy the people, the prime minister has agreed to show it to the most reliable person with good reputation, the CJP,” he added.

Terming the letter a threat, the minister claimed it clearly said that if the no-confidence motion did not succeed, and PM Khan remained in office, it would have unfortunate repercussions.

Mr Umar maintained that the letter focused on Pakistan’s foreign policy, which made it clear that it was linked to foreign elements. It also states the senior leadership of the PDM was in contact with those foreign elements, the minister alleged.

He said after these ‘realities’ were unearthed, except a few, almost all the MNAs, who were unknowingly becoming part of this “international plot”, would distance themselves from the motion.

Opposition’s demand

Separately, frontline opposition leaders — Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi — demanded the prime minister present the letter before parliament.

In a press conference, Bhutto-Zardari asked the PM to make the letter public. Shehbaz Sharif, in a statement, asked if the letter was not fake, then why the PM was reluctant to make it public. Abbasi, in a separate press conference, said it was imperative that the letter be shared with the highest institution of the country — parliament — in an in-camera session. “If the letter and the threat are authenticated, the opposition would stand with Pakistan’s sovereignty and interest,” he stressed.

The former premier said the diplomats of the country or countries that had supposedly threatened Pakistan must be immediately declared persona non grata and expelled from Pakistan.

“If there is any such threat it must be presented in an in-camera session of parliament and the National Security Committee,” he demanded.

PM chairs PTI meeting

Later, presiding over PTI’s Political Committee meeting, Prime Minister Khan claimed that when the rulers had clear intentions, all the conspiracies hatched internally or externally were bound to fail.

The PM thanked the opposition parties for ‘hatching a conspiracy’, which further increased the PTI’s popularity and triggered a new fervour in the party’s ranks. The PTI was the only grassroots-level national political party, he said, adding that when a nation resolved to change the fate of a country, the result was reflected in the form of public gatherings like the one recently held by the PTI in Islamabad.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2022

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