Blasphemy hits Muslims hardest, says Imran
Urges Islamic nations to raise voice against attempts to disrespect Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the West does not understand how much pain blasphemy causes to the Muslims around the world and therefore there is a need for the entire Muslim world to raise its voice against such outrageous events.
“The West, which does not take religion like Muslims, does not fully understand the religious sentiments of Muslims as well as the sensitivity of the subject,” Imran said on Monday while responding to a question during a live television programme in which the general public called the premier.
According to the prime minister, blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) started in the West after publication of The Satanic Verses, a novel written by British-Indian Salman Rushdie in 1988.
The prime minister said he took up the matter at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). “The entire Muslim world needs to raise its voice on the subject to make the West realize the seriousness of the issue,” he added.
Recently, France sparked outrage across the Muslim world by publically exhibiting a series of blasphemous cartoons earlier published by satirical magazine Charlie Habdo after killing of a school teacher by a Muslim youth. There were also calls for breaking diplomatic relations with France.
Imran expressed his determination to develop Pakistan as a welfare state in line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and on the model of the State of Madina, the first Muslim state of the world.
“The Holy Prophet (PBUH) in his last sermon gave a charter of humanity. The principles given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) are now being followed by various countries of the world,” he said.
The prime minister said the State of Madina gave the concept of a true modern welfare state to the world by ensuring rule of law and taking care of the poor.
He said the present government is introducing a special subject – the biography of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) – in the syllabus for 8th, 9th and 10th grades “so that the youth may know about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Riasat-e-Madina”.
Imran said the countries, which adopted and followed the model offered by the State of Madina, achieved progress and development. “Unfortunately, we did not follow those principles,” he remarked.
He said developing Pakistan along these lines is an ongoing struggle and not “like switching on a button”. "Insha Allah Pakistan is going to become a great nation,” he remarked.
To a question about offering the opposition an NRO [reprieve], Imran said: “Then we should open the jails. Why should those involved in petty crimes like stealing a motorbike or a buffalo should be jailed.”
He said no country could achieve progress and development without the rule of law. Any country based on “might-is-right” principle could not develop and progress, he added.
The prime minister referred to the Holy Prophet's (PBUH) saying that many nations, which did not ensure rule of law, faced destruction. “The NRO will be a recipe for the country’s destruction,” he said.
The prime minister said he fully realized the people's difficulties owing to inflation, “though it had come down comparing the time of government's formation. The government, he said, had inherited record trade and current account deficits.
“However due to its prudent policies, the current account deficit has been balanced with record increase in exports and remittances.”
He said during the PPP government, the rupee had depreciated by 25.5% with the consumer price index (CPI) standing at 17%, while during 2018-19, the CPI was 7.3% despite rupee devaluation by 34.1%.
Imran assured the nation that he is fully monitoring the inflation and the situation would hopefully improve with the betterment of the economy.
Foreign Funding Case
To a question about the foreign funding case, Imran Khan said the opposition leaders had got entangled in their own trap. He asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to take the case to its logical end.
“The PTI is the only political party, which has done political fund raising through special sessions. The party could provide details of around 40,000 donors,” he said, challenging the opposition parties to furnish the accounts of just 100 donors.
He said PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman should also be probed whether they got funding from Osama Bin Laden and the Libyan government respectively.
When asked about reforms in the Pakistan Cricket Board, he said the debt burden caused by massive political recruitment had annihilated the institutions like PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) and Steel Mills. He said establishing new institutions is easier than reforming the existing ones.
Citing an example of the Punjab Police, the prime minister said the previous government had appointed 25,000 people while violating merit. Some people even had criminal backgrounds.
He said cricket is on its way to reform as the regional cricket has already started in the country to promote the sport. He said the previous regimes did not make long term planning rather they remained focused on their five-year terms just to inaugurate short term projects and attract votes.
“The incumbent government is the first one to think about the future generations by executing long term projects.” He said during the current month he would launch a massive olive plantation to cope with domestic needs as well as reduce the import bill.
Touching on the gloomy affairs of the PIA, the prime minister said the airline faced Rs400 billion debt owing to massive recruitment and political intervention. However, the government is trying to ensure its deliverance from any political influence and make it a profitable entity.
He said the construction sector is booming and the sale of cement has witnessed record increase. The government incentivized the construction sector because it provided the greatest employment opportunities.
About the universal health coverage, the prime minister said he felt proud over the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government's initiative to provide health insurance facilities to the entire population.
“The K-P government has set out on a journey to Riasat-e-Madina. By year end, the same facility will be introduced for the entire of Punjab,” he added.
The prime minister said previously the lawmakers used to sell their votes for huge money. The one buying the Senate seat would ultimately make money, which would give way to corruption.
He said the government would present a constitutional amendment in the Parliament for open balloting, which would also test the opposition parties whether they backed a legislation to end the corrupt practice or not.
Talking about the Broadsheet scandal, he said the firm hired by General Musharraf had dug out $100 million assets of Nawaz Sharif in London, but instead of retrieving the money, he (Musharraf) gave an NRO to the PM-N leader.
The London court ruled in the firm's favor asking the Pakistan government to pay agreed 20pc of the assets' value found by the firm.
He said the purpose of Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh led commission is also to probe the foreign assets of PPP leader Asif Zardari as the judge has vast experience in the accountability system for having served as a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor.
To a question, the prime minister said the government has been urging the United Nations to pressure India to stop violations at the Line of Control (LoC). The Kashmir issue, he said, has reached at a point where the whole world is looking at it.
On February 5, he would also address a gathering in Kotli to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day, Imran said.
As a questioner complained about the illegal occupation of his land by a private housing society in Islamabad's rural area, the prime minister urged the people to report such cases on the Citizen Portal.
"We have declared a war against the land mafia. We will go after them to every extent," he resolved and hinted at a new civil procedure code to ensure the disposal of such cases within a year.
He said land mafias strengthened through the patronage of political leaders and the poor people or overseas Pakistanis became their worst victims. APP