End goal is to make Pakistan a welfare state; PM Imran Khan at WEF
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his keynote address at the World Economic Summit 2020 at Davos on Wednesday said that the end goal for his government is to materialise the vision for a welfare state, ARY News reported.
Talking about the troubles being faced by the country on its bordering areas the prime minister said that Pakistan wants to talk solutions to ending conflicts.
“I’ve always believed that the only way forward is via peace settlements. We want to mend our fences with Iran; we had some border issues with them. And then with India,” said PM Imran Khan.
“I reached out to Narendra Modi, the reaction was very different. Subcontinent hosts the highest number of poor people in the world. And we could talk to reduce poverty and increase trade. I tried to talk but hit a brick wall.”
“Then Pulwama happened, Indian soldiers were killed and I immediately told them to give us immediately actionable evidence and we would take action. Then the Air Force excursion happened; we captured their pilot and returned him safe and sound to show that we are for peace.”
“What happened in Pulwama, we asked for actionable intelligence but the dossier arrived after their jets violated Pakistan’s airspace and bombed our trees.”
“India unilaterally annexed Kashmir, revoked articles in their own constitution and since then it’s gone from bad to worse.”
The prime minister then talked about the continued state of unrest in India with regards to its controversial citizenship amendment act (CAA) which has been seen as a too marginalize the Muslim minority of India.
“What’s happening in India is a disaster for the people of India, for the people of Kashmir, for India which was a secular and multi-cultural society,” said Imran Khan.
“This ideology of Hindutva, The RSS ideology inspired by the Nazis who believed in racial superiority, and who believed in hatred against other religions is destroying the fabric of the Indian nation.”
“If you read history and the rise of Nazi Germany, the parallels are uncanny. From 1930 to 1934, Germany went from a democracy to a fascist country.”
“I feel bad because it’s such a big country with such huge populations of minorities; from Muslims to Christians to Dalits. They are trying to change the demographics of Kashmir which is against the Geneva conventions.”
“The jingoism has sprung up, even more, post-Modi winning the elections again. There are already protests in India, there is bombing across the line of control. Things could get worse and they may do something to distract from that.”
The prime minister urged the global peacemaking body of the United Nations and the President of the United States, Donald Trump along with others in the global community to take note of the region being a nuclear flashpoint and the need for serious deliberation to resolve matters between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
The prime minister spoke about how his government had undertaken the Billion Tree Tsunami project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, referring to it as “one of the most successful campaigns across the country.”
PM Imran said his provincial government in 2013 had taken the initiative to involve local communities in the campaign to plant more trees.
Pakistan in the 1960s was one of the fastest-growing countries in Asia. Pakistan was industrializing faster than anyone else in the subcontinent, said Imran Khan and I envision it to return to those times, times of economic prosperity.
“My contention is that it’s not a lack of resources that make a country poor; it is corruption because it destroys institutions. For public office holders to make money, institutes have to be destroyed,” said the premier.
“Taking out money is one issue, but in the process, the destruction of institutions is what really damaged Pakistan. The money that is taken out leads to inflation and poverty. Your resources are distorted; megaprojects are taken for kickbacks.”
“We are trying to strengthen the state institutions. We have tightened up our laws on money laundering. But at the core, it is the basic direction of the country.”
“We want to focus on skill development, on empowering our youth with skills, encouraging young startups and entrepreneurship. We are encouraging apprenticeships. This is our big resource which will one day lift Pakistan.”
“The other advantage Pakistan has is mineral wealth; sadly untapped. Pakistan is sitting on big gold and copper reserves. We have enough reserves to pay off our foreign debt. We have unexplored gas reserves. Our whole focus is to develop these resources. We also have a very fertile agricultural land.”
In conclusion, prime minister Imran Khan said that his vision of Pakistan stems from its strategic location. “Pakistan is strategically placed in one of the most fortunate locations in the world.”
“On one side there is China, one of the world’s biggest markets. On the other side Central Asia with its resources and markets to open up once there is peace in Afghanistan.”
“We are hoping that peace with Iran will also open up as a market. Even with India in the region, the moment our relations become normal, the trade potential for the region will grow exponentially.”