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Pakistani Prime Minister Faces No-Confidence Vote In Parliament

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan’s lower house of parliament is scheduled to convene on March 25 to take up a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, in what has been described as the toughest test Khan has faced since coming to power in 2018.

The announcement was made by the lower house speaker's office on March 20.

An alliance of opposition parties filed the motion against Khan this month, saying he had lost his parliamentary majority after more than a dozen defections from his party, Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI).

The defections have left Khan with about a dozen seats fewer than the minimum -- 172 -- needed for a majority.

The joint opposition controls 163 seats in the lower house, but it could build a majority if most of the PTI defectors effectively join its ranks via a no-confidence vote.

In a public rally, Khan urged the lawmakers who had defected to return to the PTI.

"Get back. You will be forgiven. Like a father forgives his children," he told the rally.

The opposition accuses Khan of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. Khan rejects such criticism.

Political analysts also say Khan has fallen out with Pakistan's powerful military, whose support is critical for any party to attain power.

No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed his full term in office.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal, Reuters, and dawn.com

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