Pakistanis respond to Imran Khan's 'absurd' prayer for US visa ban

Published: January 30, 2017
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Pakistani cricketer-turned-opposition leader and head of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan arrives at the Supreme Court to attend a hearing on the Panama Papers, in Islamabad on November 17, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani cricketer-turned-opposition leader and head of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan arrives at the Supreme Court to attend a hearing on the Panama Papers, in Islamabad on November 17, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

While thousands of people rallied in US cities and at airports to express outrage over President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, a statement from PTI chief Imran Khan welcoming the ban has left Pakistanis in a state of shock.

Addressing his supporters on Sunday, PTI chairman Imran Khan said he prays that Trump also slaps visa ban on Pakistanis. “I pray that Trump stops giving us [Pakistanis] visas because then we will try to fix our own country,” he said.

I pray Trump stops giving visas to Pakistanis: Imran

His statement gave rise to strong reactions from Pakistanis across the world.

Some said if Pakistanis were to be banned from the US, the PTI chief should be banned from travelling to the United Kingdom.

While some Twitter users were confused about Imran’s statement, some felt the party chief was suffering from a drug overdose.

Speaking to APP, an attorney of Pakistani descent Fitzerald Lewis said, “How can someone who called himself a national leader make such an irresponsible statement? While making such a statement, he clearly missed the underline assumption of this whole affair.”

Further, Dr Asadullah Mir, a Pakistani American educationist stated that Imran’s statement meant Pakistan should be termed a terrorist state by the US. “Putting in simple words, what Khan is praying for is that may Trump designate Pakistan as a terrorist state,” APP quoted Mir as saying.

US hints at extending visa ban to Pakistan

A day after Trump ordered no-visa policy for seven Muslim states, a White House official hinted that the ban could be extended to other countries, including Pakistan.

In response to a question during his interview to CBS News, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said: “You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others – perhaps we need to take it further”.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • israr
    Jan 30, 2017 - 4:30PM

    i think ik is right its about living and not becoming slaves so if trump dares to ban pakistanis from visiting usa so be it this will build pressure on usa and world. lets wait and see how trump reacts plus ik is a leader and he wont bend down, just trying to teach pakistanis how to stand up for their country and themselvesRecommend

  • fahim
    Jan 30, 2017 - 4:54PM

    Please ban visa so no more brain drain, my 90% class fellows who were Engineer left Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anwaaar
    Jan 30, 2017 - 5:19PM

    Most of the people who are criticizing the Imran Khan is taking his statement out of context. He is right that we need to put Pakistan system in order, instead of moving to countries where we are looked upon with contempt in an environment of increasing xenophobia.
    Visa ban on all Muslim countries is otherwise in the offing and that also unravel the true credentials of the USA that has long been masquerading as a liberal. Recommend

  • Zohaib
    Jan 30, 2017 - 5:25PM

    I agree with Imran Khan.. USA should not give new Visas to Pakistanis but those who already got visas should be able to travel. I am against brain drain too. Also politicians loot and they know that they can go to USA to live happily ever after.. they’ll think twice now.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 30, 2017 - 5:36PM

    @fahim:
    Are you going to provide your friends with decent paying jobs commensurate with their skills set, or do you expect them all to be entrepreneurs ?!Recommend

  • Mohammed Mirza
    Jan 30, 2017 - 6:40PM

    Imran has gone bananas. What hes saying is uncalled for. What happens if hes blacklisted and cannot enter the States?Recommend

  • azmat
    Jan 30, 2017 - 9:47PM

    A bird born in cage thinks flying is a sickness. This saying perfectly depicts our mindsets. What he meant was taken negatively and we all know why. he meant to say that if we are banned from US, it may well prove to be a blessing in disguise as then we will have to put our own house in order instead of depending on foreign powers all the time. Similar to what he said about the American Aid that comes with so many strings attached. Recommend

  • gp65
    Jan 30, 2017 - 10:41PM

    @israr: Where do his children live? Do they live in Pakistan? If there was a ban on him visiting his children, would he be okay with that?Recommend

  • Sial
    Jan 30, 2017 - 10:46PM

    This man never knows when to say what. He, himself is his worst enemy.Recommend

  • Jay
    Jan 31, 2017 - 9:28AM

    It’s hilarious how so many people have missed his point, deliberately or inadvertantly.Recommend

  • F Khan
    Jan 31, 2017 - 9:41AM

    Not a fan of BBZ. But he has given a very nice statement on Trump travel ban condemning it but I do not see that in our press.Recommend

  • Khan A
    Jan 31, 2017 - 10:22AM

    IK stands as a proud Pakistan.

    Those criticizing his statement sound like bleeting sheep.

    I agree with IK.Recommend

  • Anon
    Jan 31, 2017 - 10:48AM

    O please please tell me what Hussain Haqqani has to say about anyone criticizing the US!

    At least 3 of those quoted are directly employed in US or UK organisations. Obviously they think anyone suggesting not going to there is insane!Recommend

  • ali khan
    Jan 31, 2017 - 10:50AM

    ET when will you guys stop being biased?? Why are quoting him out of context??? even you know what he meant and secondly this is not even news.Recommend

  • Hasan.Khan
    Jan 31, 2017 - 11:23AM

    Your party will not get my vote in NA 250. You are way offRecommend

  • Raghu
    Jan 31, 2017 - 12:08PM

    @ali khan
    They will never stop being biased. Their salaries are dependent on being biased. Most people know what he meant. But some people dont take it seriously and find a chance of laughter in everything. That is because they lost hope in Pakistan and any serious thing said is flown in the air with a laugh.Recommend

  • Rollin & Trollin
    Jan 31, 2017 - 1:55PM

    @Khan A:
    You must have fallen off a container as well !Recommend

  • Hassan Parvez
    Jan 31, 2017 - 10:45PM

    Every time the great Imran Khan open his mouth, he proves that he is one hundred percent Pathan.Recommend

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