In new innings, Imran pitches for Islamic welfare state

July 27, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 05:27 am IST - Islamabad

PTI leader says the poor and the downtrodden will get priority

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan said on Thursday that he envisioned a Medina-like Islamic welfare state, which will be sympathetic towards widows and the weaker sections of society.

In his first public address since his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the general election, Mr. Khan shared his vision for Pakistan and pledged to safeguard the interests of ordinary citizens.

“I want to share with you the kind of Pakistan I envision — the type of state that was established in Medina, where widows and the poor were taken care of,” he said.

“My inspiration comes from the last Prophet who set up an ideal welfare state in Medina. I want Pakistan to become like that. A humanistic, not an animalistic state,” he said in a speech made from Bani Gala in Islamabad and broadcast via video link.

“I pledge to our people that I will introduce a system that is for the masses, all policies will be for the people and not for the elite,” he vowed. “I will live humbly. So far, we have seen that everyone who comes to power changes. That will not happen with me.”

He said he would not live in the official residence of the Prime Minister and the “lavish” house would be converted into a public space like an educational institution

Pakistan is in “shambles” as a state and the country is facing its “biggest challenge” on the economic front, Mr. Khan said. “We are facing governance and economic challenges. Our economy has never been so abysmal. It’s because institutions have not been doing their jobs,” he said.

“Our style of governance will be entirely different. The one never seen before. We will work for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden people.”

On ties with the U.S., Mr. Khan said Pakistan wants balanced relations that would be mutually beneficial. Mr. Khan said he and his party wanted stronger ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. “We will strengthen our relations with China. They have provided us an opportunity by investing in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he said.

Pakistan can learn from China, which has effectively tackled corruption and also improved people’s lives, Mr. Khan said.

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