WASHINGTON: “People ask where is ‘Naya Pakistan’, it is being created in front of your eyes,” the premier said.
Earlier, the organiser of the event Dr Abdullah Riar had said that they were expecting between 15,000 and 20,000 at the event.
PM Imran was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, and Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari.
Addressing the crowd in the American capital, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the problem in Pakistan was that when political leaders were asked for answers, they say that [political] revenge is being taken and when courts make decisions they say ‘kyun nikala’.
“Today what is happening in Pakistan, is the formation of Naya Pakistan — these people had never been asked for answers before.”
He said that in Pakistan, the leadership had never been asked for answers before and this was the creation of a ‘Naya Pakistan’ taking place.
The premier said that there were two main reasons — a system of merit and leaders being answerable — that democracy had gone forward in the world and left monarchy behind.
Citing a sports example, the PM said that the Australian cricket team had gone forward as they had a system that brings up talent and relies on merit. “I have played cricket all around the world. I have seen the most cricketing talent in Pakistan. But [because] there is no system of merit, we can’t bring that talent up. “This is why we are not dominating the world because there is no meritocracy.”
PM Imran said that America had a system based on meritocracy, through which good leaders replaced bad ones. He said that in Pakistan there was a “type of monarchy” and merit did not come into play in the country. “A society that doesn’t have merit, doesn’t go forward.”
The premier said that the second factor that took democracy forward was the leaders being answerable.
“Democracy is successful when the leadership is answerable.” Prime Minister Imran said that cases against political leaders in Pakistan were not new.
“All the cases against them are old. We did not [start] any case […] all we have done is make institutions independent.”
“We have seen Pakistan go down before our eyes,” he said, adding that when he was growing up in the country during the 1960s, Pakistan was considered to be the fastest developing country in the subcontinent and Asia.