“Stop reading papers, watching chat shows”; suggests Imran Khan

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DAVOS: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said he has stopped reading morning newspapers and watching evening chat shows on TV due to extreme negativity targeted at him in the media so is the advice to public.

He also said it was a painful process which Pakistan has to go through to reap the benefits of deep institutional and governance reforms being implemented by his government and asked everyone to ”be patient” for results.

“It’s like you want to go to heaven, but don’t want to die. This might be a bad example, so I’ll say you want a tumour to be removed but don’t want the pain of surgery,” Mr Khan said at a breakfast session aimed at showcasing his vision for Pakistan and its economic potential before the global business leaders as well as overseas Pakistanis.

Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking at Pakistan Breakfast Meet in Davos on January 23, 2020.

Mr Khan, who is here to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2020, said his vision is to make Pakistan a “humane, just and welfare society” as was envisioned by the founding fathers of the country.

“I am used to criticism, being in public life for 40 years, but the last one and half years I’ve been hammered in media.

“The best I could do was I stopped reading newspapers and don’t watch evening chat shows. Problem is my officials do watch them and then tell me what they are saying,” he said.

“All I want to say is be patient. It will take a lot of political will and courage to take on all this criticism and succeed eventually,” he said.

“It is going to be difficult. There is some short term pain and struggle ahead but be assured we have good times ahead for Pakistan,” Mr Khan said.

The prime minister also said that when you are going through reforms and especially governance reforms, it is not possible for results to reflect immediately.

“You can destroy an institution immediately but it takes time to restore it. We have so many bloated institutions and many of people there are without work and also without even the right background,” he said.

Uighurs Muslims

Despite the global outcry over China’s treatments of its minorities, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has chosen to remain tight-lipped on deplorable conditions of Uighur Muslims in China, saying Beijing is a “good friend” and has helped Islamabad in “most difficult situations”.

In an interview with German-based Deutsche Welle (DW) on January 16, Imran Khan spoke at length about the issue of Kashmir but he said Chinese are “sensitive” and that’s why Islamabad avoids discussing the Uighur issue with them.

When asked “why he is not very vocal on the issue of Uighur Muslim but is very critical to India over Kashmir issue”, Mr Khan said, “Well, mainly for two reasons. First, the scale of what is happening in India is not comparable to what is supposedly happening to the Uighurs in China. Second, China has been a great friend. It has helped us in our most difficult times because of the economic crisis my government inherited. Therefore, we do talk about things with China privately, not publicly, as these are sensitive issues.”

China has been condemned internationally for cracking down on the minorities living in their countries. China has been accused of oppressing the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending the community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination. However, Pakistan has stayed silent over this issue.