Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday identified corruption as the main factor behind widespread poverty in developing countries, saying they are poor and not because of scarcity of resources.
âCorruption is something that destroys a country. Poor countries are poor not because they lack resources but because their leaders are corrupt, âthe prime minister said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
The developing world is poor because the ruling elite siphoned off money and laundered it in offshore accounts, he added.
Prime Minister Imran said he wanted to establish Pakistan on the principles of the state of Medina. The rule of law and public welfare were the two guiding principles of the state of Medina, he explained.
âA society is only civilized when it has the rule of law. Without the rule of law, there is no future. When ministers start to fly, you can’t progress, âhe noted.
“Fight against the corrupt ruling elite”
Regarding his political fight, the prime minister said his fight was against the corrupt ruling elite which was destroying the country. He told the interviewer that there were two well-established family political parties, so fighting them was like fighting a mafia.
The prime minister said both sides had money and state resources which also used money and media against him.
Speaking about corruption in his government, he said he would order an investigation if anyone reports a corrupt practice by one of his ministers. The government had ordered an investigation into the sugar crisis after some of the ruling party members were found involved in the scam, he added.
Imran said that when it comes to lower level corruption by government officials, the government is introducing automation to eliminate it.
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In response to a question, the PM said his government inherited the highest debt, budget deficit and current account deficit on record, which is taking time to recover.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan has been declared among the best for effectively weathering the Covid-19 pandemic by maintaining a balance between life and livelihood.
He noted that, like other developing countries, Pakistan was also facing imported inflation due to rising prices of commodities such as edible oil and pulses which are imported.
Imran added that in order to eliminate disparities in the education system, the government introduced a basic education curriculum with “consensus” and consultation of all stakeholders.
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Speaking of Islamophobia, Prime Minister Imran said that Muslim leaders have never presented true Islam to the West, especially after 9/11.
This made Muslims in Western countries confronted with Islamophobia despite the fact that terrorism had nothing to do with Islam, he added.
He said that Imran Khan alone could not bring about any change, but that the entire Muslim world had to take a common stance in forums such as the United Nations to make a difference.
When asked about Afghanistan, he said Pakistan faced a very difficult situation after the exit of the United States and its allies and the ensuing Taliban takeover. He argued that the world, including the United States, should think rationally for the sake of 40 million people, otherwise the situation will lead to chaos and terrorism.
In the event of chaos in Afghanistan, Pakistan would suffer greatly as the country was already hosting three million Afghan refugees.
The prime minister further said that what the West had done in the country for the past 20 years was foolish and said that no Afghan was involved in 9/11, but the Western powers occupied it. Afghanistan to achieve goals that could never be achieved by military means. Because of the position itself, the prime minister said, he has been criticized enormously.
Regarding the Kashmir dispute, he said Pakistan has a responsibility to raise the issue in every forum. Regarding the role of Muslim countries, the Prime Minister said that all Muslim states have their own independent relations with India, so Pakistan does not expect much from them.
In response to a question, the Prime Minister said that if India launched a strike against Pakistan, it would react exactly as it did in 2019.
âOnly fools can think of putting two nuclear powers face to face. Indians are good but they are ruled by fanatics, âhe noted.