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Imran Khan on Islamic welfare state

July 04, 2012

WE always knew that Imran Khan had or pretended to have right-wing leanings. This image got a bit muggy after the October 30 meeting in Lahore. The youth of the country had finally found a voice with which they could resonate and march towards a liberal and modern Pakistan. Fortunately, this was not an isolated incident and this wave of modernity and hope of a better tomorrow carried on with very successful meetings in Karachi and Quetta.

After the meeting in Lahore, several politicians who have been tried and tested joined Imran Khan’s party. Every Tom, Dick and Harry wanted to have a bite at the pie. Unfortunately, this has undoubtedly made Imran Khan look vulnerable.

My guess is that the PTI will be lucky to get a few seats the way it is going as it is trying its best to alienate the same youth who were ready to die for its cause.

The latest statement from Imran Khan is: “we want to create an Islamic welfare state.” I thought for a moment that this must have been said by Jamaat-i Islami or Maulana Fazlur Rahman.

Does an Islamic welfare state exist anywhere in the world? There are several models of European welfare states, but not a single Islamic welfare state in over 50 Islamic countries.

A welfare state is one in which the citizens have rights: the right to life, liberty, freedom, speech, religion, equal opportunities, free education, free healthcare, water, power, shelter, employment, etc.

The closest model of an Islamic welfare state was the one run by the Taliban and it was a nightmare for all. Saudi Arabia is no less horrendous. I hope Imran Khan is not hoping to revive such a model. When he makes a statement he must explain what he really means by that. The PTI must clarify these things.

SALMAN MUNIR Karachi