They were carrying the pictures of opposition leaders calling them looters, and shouted slogans such as, “crime minister is not acceptable,” referring to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif who has replaced Khan.
Thousands of people also held a massive rally in Houston, Texas, on Monday against the ouster of the Khan government, and denounced the new government as an “imported government.”
— shafqat shaikh (@shafqatnaz5) April 12, 2022
More rallies in support of the ousted Khan government are planned in the coming days across the United States.
Khan lost a no-confidence vote in his leadership on Saturday night after opposition parties brought a motion against him, following days of drama. The motion was first brought last week, but Khan initially blocked it by dissolving parliament.
The vote went through after the country’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of opposition parties and said Khan’s move was unconstitutional.
Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, led the bid to topple Khan. He was named the country’s new prime minister on Monday.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) April 12, 2022
Khan, who had antagonized the White House throughout his tenure, has accused Washington of orchestrating his ouster. On Sunday, he repeated the allegations that a “foreign conspiracy” was behind efforts to remove him from power.
Since coming to power in 2018, Khan has adopted anti-American rhetoric, while expressing a desire to align Pakistan more closely with China and more recently with Russia. He held talks with President Vladimir Putin on February 24, the day the Russian leader ordered troops into Ukraine.
On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of held rallies across Pakistan in support of Khan, and shouted slogans against the US meddling in their country’s affairs.
The United States on Friday denied that it encouraged a recent no-confidence vote against Khan, who alleged that Washington had conspired to topple his government over its independent foreign policy towards the US and Russia.
“Let me just say very bluntly there is absolutely no truth to these allegations. Of course, we continue to follow these developments, and we respect and support Pakistan’s constitutional process and rule of law. But again, these allegations are absolutely not true,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said at a news conference.
Meanwhile, Russia has blasted “another attempt of shameless interference” by the United States in the internal affairs of Pakistan, saying that Washington sought to punish a “disobedient” Prime Minister Khan following his visit to Moscow on February 23-24.
In a 40-minute address to the nation on Friday, Khan accused the opposition of buying support in the National Assembly with “open horse-trading… selling of lawmakers like goats and sheep”.
He said they had conspired with the US to bring the no-confidence vote because of his opposition to US foreign policy.
Addressing a large rally in the capital Islamabad late last month, Prime Minister Khan accused an unnamed “foreign power” – in a clear reference to the United States – of funding a “conspiracy” to topple his democratically-elected government.
He said the “foreign power” sent millions of dollars to opposition parties to launch a no-confidence vote against him in the parliament.
Khan, who had formed a coalition government after winning the election in 2018, said he was the subject of a “foreign conspiracy” aimed at dislodging his government and that “funding was being channeled into Pakistan from abroad.”