Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday categorically said he will not give in to the opposition’s demand for him to step down.

“Let me be very clear that I will not resign on opposition’s demand,” the premier told a select group of journalists at the PM Office on Wednesday.

Imran Khan expressed his resolve not to cave into pressure from his political nemesis Maulana Fazlur Rehman who intends to mount “Azadi March” on Islamabad later this month.

The prime minister expressed his views about the JUI-F’s threat of launching protest, issues of inflation, unemployment and foreign policy.

Though he sees a foreign-sponsored conspiracy behind Maulana Fazl’s protest, he showed willingness to allow it.

It appeared as if the JUI-F chief was being backed by foreign elements, Khan said, adding that even Maulana’s charter of demands was not clear.

“However, we will allow them to hold their ‘Azadi March’ protest peacefully in the capital city.”

The JUI-F chief, with the support of all major opposition parties including PML-N, PPP and ANP, will march on the federal capital on October 31 to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which he believes came into power through massive rigging in the 2018 elections.

“There is no question of my resignation and I will not resign. Dharna is agenda based, and it has foreign support,” the prime minister was quoted as telling this to a questioner.

He was of the view that the JUI-F’s plan to protest has sent a wave of joy in India.

“I don’t understand what Maulana’s problem is,” he was quoted as saying in the meeting. “I don’t understand the agenda of the opposition.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan acknowledged that inflation and unemployment remain a big problem which his government was trying to solve.

When his attention was drawn towards the opposition’s stance that the PTI had also staged a sit-in, Khan said his dharna was not staged for nothing.

He said he had proof of election rigging in four constituencies when he staged the sit-in at D-Chowk.

“We came out on streets after exhausting all possible options; which platform Maulana Fazlur Rehman has used to address his grievances before coming out on streets? Attention is being diverted from the Kashmir issue because of this march. We must think who will benefit from all of this”, he added.

Asked about media restrictions on Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he said there was no ban on broadcasting JUI-F Ameer’s interviews or press conferences.

Commenting on incarcerated former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s health, the prime minister said only a court of law could take a decision on his treatment outside the country.

“Shehbaz Sharif says Imran Khan will be held responsible if anything happens to Nawaz Sharif … I am not a doctor or a judge and the matter of Maryam Nawaz’s meeting with her father would also be decided by the court,” he remarked.

The prime minister added that he had directed Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to provide best possible medical facilities to Nawaz Sharif.

Commenting on the situation along the Line of Control (LoC), the premier said India can stage a Pulwama-style drama as an excuse for a possible military offensive against Pakistan. “I have asked the army chief to keep his troops fully prepared for a befitting response to any such adventure.”