Riyadh (September 20, 2018): Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his maiden visit to Riyadh as premier, has said that Pakistan will always stand by Saudi Arabia.
PM Imran Khan said in a TV interview that Saudi Arabia has a special place in the hearts of all Muslims, so it is natural for a Muslim leader to visit Makkah and Madinah.
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The PM said that his role model was Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was the greatest leader not only for Pakistan, but the greatest leader of the 20th century, Imran said and added that they had ideological leaders like Iqbal, the philosopher-poet. The model of Pakistan they wanted is not Pakistan which became a country heading toward the wrong direction.
While answering a question, Imran said, “as a Muslim, when we pray five times a day, we only ask one thing from Allah. We ask Allah to show us the way of those He has blessed, not the ones who went astray. So I seek the way of the blessed.”
The PM said,” And you know success is not in our hands, its in Allah’s hands. All He expects us to do is to struggle in that way which he has commanded us. I am trying to change the direction of Pakistan and put it on the right course which it was meant to take. I repeat that it meant to be just and humane society.”
He said they will change the way Pakistan has been governed and they will change the mindset of the people of Pakistan. Imran said, “We will do it in two ways: One we will lift up the bottom 50 per cent of the population, rather than rich grow richer, bring people out of poverty, very much what China has done. China’s greatness is that it has taken out of poverty 700 million people in past 30 years. And it has become a world power. So we fundamentally differ from the way Pakistan has been governed, that’s number one.”He continued, “Number two, we want to make Pakistan to be a country where we invest in human resources, we spend money on human beings rather than on infrastructure. Once you develop the human resources they themselves invest in infrastructure. So the key is health, education, clean drinking water, justice.”
The PM said, “The priority number three is to build strong institutions. Countries are built on institutions. The reason the West is ahead of Muslims is that it has strong institutions. The state institutions should be strong and individuals should not be above institutions.”
Imran said, “let me say first that Pakistan has suffered for the last 15 years because of the war on terror. Pakistan opted to join the war on terror which had nothing to do with it. The people who were responsible for 911 were not in Pakistan, no Pakistani was involved and Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan. For no reason, Pakistan got involved in this war and we suffered, resulting the death of 88,000 Pakistanis. The loss to the economy has been over $100 billion. Our tribal areas along the Afghanistan border have been devastated. So what we now want is peace, stability. To get stability we need peace with all our neighbours.”Imran said they already have a very good relationship with China and wanted good relations with Afghanistan and India as well.
The PM said that Saudi Arabia is one country for which the people of Pakistan have a special love. Every Muslim has a special bond with Saudi Arabia because of Makkah and Madinah Imran said and added that the government of Saudi Arabia has always been very generous to Pakistan in times of our need. All Pakistanis want Saudi Arabia to be secure and prosperous and all pray for Saudi Arabia, said PM Imran.