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.”


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.