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Taking U-turns is sign of leadership: PM

Updated November 17, 2018

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Imran says Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat in Russia because they were not able to change their strategies according.— AFP/File
Imran says Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat in Russia because they were not able to change their strategies according.— AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­is­ter Imran Khan has said the real leader of a nation always makes U-turns and changes his or her strategy according to the situation and the need of the hour.

He was talking to journalists who met him in the Prime Minister Office (PMO). “The leader who does not do timely U-turns is not a real leader,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by a participant.

Mr Khan gave the example of the ‘failure of German leader Adolf Hitler and French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte in the wars in Russia’ and said: “Both Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat as they did not change their strategies according to the situation and (as a result) their armies were marooned in Russia.”

Imran says Hitler and Napoleon faced defeat in Russia because they were not able to change their strategies according to situation

“Leaders should always be ready to take U-turns according to the requirement of their duties and best interests of the nation,” the prime minister added.

Interestingly, the opposition always blames Mr Khan for making U-turns in politics and backing out from what he promises to the nation. In fact, quite often he is dubbed as “master of U-turns”.

Reacting to the prime minister’s remarks, senior leader of the Pakistan Peo­ples Party Syed Khursheed Shah said that Mr Khan had “called himself Hitler” in his “U-turn remarks”.

Mr Shah said Hitler was a dictator and by giving his example Mr Khan had proved that he too was a dictator.

Talking about the performance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the prime minister said the anti-graft watchdog should first take up cases of bigwigs and then go for petty suspects.

“NAB is an independent institution and I hope that the bureau will take it into account how many cases it can take to logical conclusion on the basis of its capabilities and human resources,” the prime minister added.

100-day plan

The prime minister said the government would soon present a comprehensive plan for elimination of poverty, better education and health facilities and some other reforms. “The first 100 days of any government determine its direction and policies,” he added.

Unfortunately, he said, it had never been tried to bring in what he called “real” democracy in the country, adding that instead of democracy, kleptocracy had so far ruled the country, where rulers (mis)used their powers for their own interests.

The prime minister deplored that despite obtaining huge foreign loans in the past, Pakistan was still among Third World countries.

“We do not know the amount of resources our country has,” he maintained.

Only in oil and gas sectors six per cent of the resources had so far been tapped, he said. “Unfortunately none of the governments in the past paid attention to exploring other natural resources.”

Stressing the need for merit and fair play, Mr Khan said (previous) rulers had intentionally weakened state institutions so that they [institutions] could not make them [rulers] accountable for their deeds. “We are not at war against democrats but those who destroyed the country and plundered its wealth,” he said.

Lauding the performance of his party in the July 25 elections, Mr Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had lost about 55 seats, 14 of the National Assembly and the rest of provincial legislatures, with the margin of 3,000 to 4,000 votes. “We have offered to the opposition to open any of the constituencies but its objective is only to malign the government by levelling false allegations of rigging,” he added.

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman (chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F) and other opposition leaders are making a hue and cry because they have been wiped out from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the polls,” he said.

The prime minister said the PTI government had inherited a number of problems, including crippling economy, but he was hopeful of overcoming all of them. “Improving exports, investments and foreign remittances are among top priorities of the government,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018

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