The World BrieflyMarch 31, 2022
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is under pressure to resign after a major ally in his coalition switched to the opposition on Wednesday, a move that comes ahead of a no-confidence vote next week, Al Jazeera reported.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) party said it was leaving Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led coalition government, following negotiations with the opposition.
The embattled prime minister also saw nearly two dozen PTI lawmakers defecting, which currently leaves Khan’s ruling alliance with only 164 votes.
He needs 172 votes to defeat the no-confidence motion.
The political crisis began earlier this month when the opposition announced the no-confidence vote amid accusations that Khan has mismanaged Pakistan’s economy.
For his part, Khan – who was elected in 2018 – blamed the recent turmoil on a foreign-funded conspiracy attempting to oust him.
No Pakistani prime minister has ever served a full term in the country’s 75-year history, which has seen frequent military coups. In Khan’s case, the army has been a stabilizing factor for his administration.
Even so, analysts said that Khan has lost the support of the military following his choice of a new spy chief.
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