Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday again linked the no-trust move against him with a "foreign conspiracy" allegedly hatched due to his government's "independent foreign policy" as he warned his party's dissidents and political rivals that the future generations of the country will neither forgive them nor their "handlers".
The prime minister fired those warnings in a live address to the nation days ahead of voting on a no-trust resolution against him in the National Assembly that will decide his government's fate.
After starting off with a detailed explanation of his political ideology and the reason of his foray into politics, he emphasised why an independent foreign policy was essential for free nations — something which he said he strived for during his time in power.
The prime minister then discussed the 'threat letter' that he brandished in the March 27 power show in Islamabad and which purportedly contains "evidence" of a foreign conspiracy to oust his government.
In what appeared to be a slip of tongue, the prime minister named the US as the country that is reportedly behind the letter, only to quickly correct himself and say that it was some other country and not America.
"On March 8, or probably before that on March 7, we received a message from the US ... no, not the US, what I mean to say is from some other foreign country," he said, adding that the message was not just against the prime minister (referring to himself) but "our nation".
The prime minister claimed that the country behind the letter knew of an impending no-trust vote against him before it was filed by the opposition in the National Assembly.
"So this means that they (the opposition) were in contact with people abroad before all this happened," he said. "And the interesting part is that the [conspiracy detailed in the document] is not against Pakistan's leadership or government, but only against Imran Khan."
The premier said the country behind the letter had the stance that they were "angry with Pakistan" and that it "will forgive Pakistan if Imran Khan loses this no-trust" vote contest.
"I ask my nation today that is this our status? We are a nation of 220 million and another country — and they are not giving any reason except for saying that he (PM Imran) went to Russia — [is issuing threats]," he said. "They said that Imran Khan decided to go to Russia on his own even though the Foreign Office and the military leadership was consulted.
"Our ambassador told them that the decision [to visit Russia was made after consultations] but they denied and said 'it was only because of Imran Khan and that our ties cannot be good if he stays.' What they are actually saying is that they have no issue with the people who will replace Imran Khan."
The prime minister said the foreign forces "developed a liking for" Shehbaz Sharif, Fazlur Rehman and Asif Ali Zardari as they "know where there money and properties are" and "in their 10 years 400 drone attacks took place and they did not condemn it once."
"The most disturbing thing is that they (foreign forces) have links with the people through whom the conspiracy (no trust move) was executed. They are the three stooges, and stooge means a loyal slave," he said.
PM Imran then addressed Shahbaz's criticism of him saying "absolutely not" to the United States in response to its reported demands of having military bases in Pakistan.
"I only said that 'we are with you in peace but not in war' because our foreign policy is independent. I don't talk against anyone. I only say that my biggest responsibility is the 220m Pakistanis. When did you (Shehbaz) take a stand ... you and your brother can never talk [before them like this because] they know where your assets are."
The prime minister then addressed the no-trust move against him — the voting on which will take place this Sunday.
"On Sunday, there will be voting [on the no-trust resolution] and a decision will be taken about the [future] direction of this country ... Somebody suggested that I should resign. I always fight till the last ball. I want the entire nation to see on that day who sold their consciences.
"There is looted money being used to buy off people, and this is happening before the entire nation. This is a transaction of their consciences, their country and its sovereignty."
Despite seeing several of his main allies side with the opposition, the prime minister still said he has "hope".
"I am telling people who have entered deals that this will be stamped on you for life. The people will neither forget nor forgive you. Neither will they forgive those who are handling you. The people will always remember that you sold your country. Through a foreign conspiracy, you tried to topple a government that had an independent foreign policy."
"Mir Jafer and Mir Sadiq colluded with the Britishers and enslaved Bengal. These (his party's dissidents) are Mir Jafers and Mir Sadiqs of today," he added. "They have colluded with foreign powers and are bringing a change in this country but remember that the nation will not let you forget and the future generations will not forgive you.
"And if you think you will make this conspiracy successful ... [know that] I will still be standing in its way. It is my commitment to my nation that I will fight this till I have blood running in me. This doesn't affect my life. I live in my home and bear my expenses. I have neither built any factories nor any of my relatives are in politics.
"But the treason that is going to happen against this nation on Sunday, I want you (the people) to remember the face of every traitor. This nation will not forget this and will not forgive you (dissident PTI lawmakers) and those behind you. And if you think that Imran Khan will sit quietly ... don't have this misconception. Allah has given me the capability to fight. I have fought all my life. I got here through struggle and I will not let this conspiracy succeed in any case," he concluded.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the prime minister said: "Today, I have to talk about something important about the country's future. I decided to address the nation through live broadcast because Pakistan is at a defining moment and we have two paths ahead of us.
"But before that, I want to tell you why a person like me entered politics. I am a fortunate person whom Allah had blessed with everything, including fame and wealth. I am from the first generation that was born in a free Pakistan.
"Pakistan is five years older than me. My parents were born during times of slavery. They made me realise that I was lucky to have been born in a free country because in slavery you cannot rise above a certain level and khuddari (self-respect) is a sign of a free nation."
The prime minister explained why he had entered politics in the 1990s following a successful cricket career.
"I entered politics because I came to the conclusion that Pakistan can never be the country that Allama Iqbal dreamt of and Quaid-i-Azam struggled for, even in poor health," he said. "The main purpose of Pakistan was to become an Islamic welfare state, which traces back to the state of Madina.
"When I started politics, I included three things in my party's manifesto — Justice, which means the law is the same for the powerful and the weak; humanity, because there is kindness in an Islamic state; and third, khuddari, because a Muslim nation cannot be a slave."
The prime minister continued: "Had Allah not blessed me with faith, I would [not have] entered politics. I was mocked for 14 years and people repeatedly asked me why did I enter politics. I came into politics because of an ideology.
"Since I joined politics, I have always said that neither will I bow down before anyone and nor will I let my nation bow down. It means I will not let my nation be a slave to anyone. I have never backed down from this stance.
"I decided the day I became the prime minister that our foreign policy will be independent, which means it will be for Pakistanis. It doesn't mean that we wanted enmity with any country ... When I got the government, I said we will not have any foreign policy that is not in our favour."
The prime minister was originally expected to address the nation yesterday. However, the address was postponed without providing any reason.
The development comes as the prime minister is facing a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly. Yesterday, the MQM-P — the government's main ally in the Centre — announced that it would support the joint opposition in the no-trust resolution.
The MQM-P has seven seats in the NA and after its decision to part ways with the government, the opposition has gathered the support of 177 MNAs, five more than the 172 required to gain a majority.
In the face of the opposition's onslaught, PM Imran has also made allegations of a "foreign conspiracy" being responsible for efforts to oust him.
At a public meeting held on Sunday, the premier had pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and waved it at the crowd, claiming it was evidence of an “international conspiracy” being hatched to topple his government.
On Wednesday, this letter was shared with members of the federal cabinet in a hurriedly called meeting, which was not attended by the MQM-P and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) despite being invited. The letter was shown to the cabinet members on a TV screen.
PM Imran 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, the premier did not show the letter to the media.