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.”