Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan suggested on Saturday he might not accept a vote to oust him, a move he said was orchestrated by the United States.
Opposition parties say Khan has failed to revive an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic or deliver on promises to make his government more transparent and accountable, and have tabled a no-confidence motion to be voted on on Sunday.
“How can I accept the result when the whole process is discredited? Khan told a select group of foreign journalists in his office. “Democracy works on moral authority – what moral authority remains after this collusion?”
“The decision to oust me is a gross interference in the domestic politics of the United States,” he said, calling it an attempt at “regime change.”
Khan has already lost his parliamentary majority after key allies quit his coalition government and joined the opposition.
Hours before speaking, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Pakistan wanted to expand its ties with Washington.
No appeal to Khan from Biden
US President Joe Biden has not called Khan since taking office, but the White House has denied it was seeking to unseat him.
Bajwa told a security conference in Islamabad that “we share a long history of excellent strategic relations with the United States, which remains our biggest export market.”
He noted that Pakistan has long had close diplomatic and trade relations with China, but added, “We seek to develop and expand our ties with the two countries without affecting our relationship with the other.”
The US Embassy in Islamabad did not immediately respond to a request for comment.