Pakistan PM’s vision for the future based on KSA’s past

Imran Khan, on the first day of the World Government Summit in Dubai. Madinah, inset, “paved the way” as one of the greatest civilizations in history, he said. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Pakistan PM’s vision for the future based on KSA’s past

  • Imran Khan said Saudi Arabia created one of the first welfare systems
  • The Pakistan PM said reforms can be painful, but are necessary

DUBAI: Pakistan needs a welfare system to help lift those most in need, the country’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan said on Sunday.

Speaking at the opening day of the World Government Summit in Dubai, Khan said the country was in need of reforms.

“We must have a welfare state,” he said. “Policies of the state must lift people from the bottom and, most importantly, we must start a reform program. It is essential if we have to get out of our current problems.”

He said his motivation for Pakistan was based on Medina in Saudi Arabia, which he said laid the foundation of one of the greatest civilizations in the history of mankind with principles that “paved the way for the next 700 years.”

And he said he wanted to see Pakistan’s future based on the same example,

“It was founded on incredible principles of justice and humanity,” he noted. “It was the first time a welfare state was made, and it took responsibility for the weak. It was the first time pensions were created and it was a humane state.”

Speaking about the Islamic faith, he touched on the importance of the rule of law.

“All the top scientists were Muslims for the next 700 years thanks to the foundation laid by Medina,” he explained. “Then, (there was) the way minorities were treated, and how other religions were protected.”

This led to the growth of the Muslim civilization, Khan said, which he said was the basis for Pakistan and the key to its rise in the future.

Khan joined politics in 1996, following a career in cricket where he said he learnt that “you only lose when you give up.”

He formed a government in 2013 and started spending on social areas such as health, education and climate change.

“Reforms are painful,” he said. “But Pakistan now has a chance, and we feel this is the time Pakistan will take off.”

But he said it was also vital to allow businesses to make money.

“We worked on the ease of doing business in Pakistan and we changed our tax laws, as part of a series of reforms,” he explained.

“Already, we see signs of the country improving but, most importantly, Pakistan has the best tourism potential and we are currently opening sights for religious tourism as well.

“We have also opened our visa regime and we are opening up the country – we want an equitable growth.”


Kosovo returns families of militants from Syria

Updated 27 min 37 sec ago
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Kosovo returns families of militants from Syria

  • More than 300 Kosovo citizens, men, women and children, have traveled to Syria since 2012
  • Police said some 150 women and children, including around 60 children that were born in war zones, were captured

PRISTINA: Dozens of women and children, relatives of Kosovo militants fighting in Syria, were flown back home by plane on Saturday under heavy security.
“The planned operation for the return of some of our citizens from Syria has ended successfully,” Justice Minister Abelrad Tahiri said at the airport early on Saturday.
Details would be released later in the day, he said.
After hours at the airport, two buses with women and children were transported under police escort to army barracks just outside Pristina.
More than 300 Kosovo citizens, men, women and children, have traveled to Syria since 2012. Some 70 men who fought alongside extremist militant groups were killed.
Police said some 150 women and children, including around 60 children that were born in war zones, were captured as Daesh lost ground.
It remained unclear if all of them were returned on Friday. Neither the minister nor police gave any details if any fighters were also returned.
International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
Kosovo’s population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but largely secular in outlook.
There have been no Islamist attacks on its soil, although more than 100 men have been jailed or indicted on charges of fighting in Syria and Iraq. Some of them were found guilty of planning attacks in Kosovo.
The government said a form of radical Islam had been imported to Kosovo by non-governmental organizations from the Middle East after the end of its 1998-99 war of secession from Serbia.