‘It Should Be Him or No One’: Imran Khan Reportedly Planned to Introduce Martial Law in Pakistan

© AFP 2023 / AAMIR QURESHIImran Khan. File photo
Imran Khan. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.04.2022
On Monday, Pakistan’s parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif as the country’s new prime minister after his predecessor Imran Khan was removed from office after losing a no-confidence vote late last week.
Pakistan’s now­­-ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan threatened to impose martial law in the country last week instead of handing over power to the opposition, The Guardian has quoted unnamed security and opposition sources as saying.

The sources claimed that Khan tried to take several steps to hang on to power in the days and hours leading up to Saturday’s no-confidence vote, but to no avail.

Earlier last week, a senior minister from Khan’s government reportedly sent a message to an opposition leader that read: “Martial law or elections – your choice”.
An opposition figure in turn argued that the deposed Pakistani prime minister appeared to threaten the opposition with the ultimatum, adding that “Imran Khan believed it should be him or no one”.
Security officials argued that on the day of the no-confidence vote, Khan “wanted to sack the army chief, but the forces received information about it and they thwarted his plan after they came to know about it”. According to the official, the former prime minister “wanted to create a huge crisis to remain in power”.
The allegations that Khan was trying to “remove the chief of the army staff for furtherance of political interests” were also mentioned in a legal petition filed to the Islamabad high court by the lawyer Adnan Iqbal on Saturday night and seen by The Guardian.
The Pakistani military rejected the allegations of its involvement in Khan’s alleged attempts to implement martial law, calling them “baseless rumours”. An unnamed military source was quoted by The Guardian as saying that “these fake stories are being spread to mislead the public and create anarchy in the country”.

“All such malicious attempts will be defeated by the people of Pakistan,” the source argued, adding that “the enemy is attempting to tarnish the image of [Pakistani] armed forces”, who are “the guarantor of peace” in the country.

Imran Khan's Ouster

The claims were preceded by Khan alleging on Friday that he had fallen a victim to a foreign conspiracy in who was trying to oust him. “Pakistan became an independent state in 1947, but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change. It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty and democracy”, Khan tweeted.
This was followed by the vice-speaker of Pakistan’s parliament rejecting a vote of no confidence in Khan, calling it unconstitutional. Shortly afterwards, President Arif Alvi dissolved the country’s parliament in a move that caused discontent among opposition parties, who challenged the decision in court.
Opposition parties have blamed Khan’s government for soaring inflation, and Khan said that the opposition was trying to get rid of him because he wanted to get rid of their alleged corruption. President Alvi’s move was then overturned by Pakistan's Supreme Court, which ruled it unconstitutional, and the National Assembly then reconvened on 10 April, successfully passing a no-confidence motion and ousting Khan.
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