Premier gives exclusive online interview to American Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf
ISLAMABAD: A lack of rule of law is the reason why we haven't achieved our potential, believes Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He says that the elite captured Pakistan’s resources and the absence of rule of law had not only deprived the majority of the people of basic amenities, but also kept the country from achieving its immense potential.
“The problem was the elite capture of resources which deprived the majority of proper healthcare, education and justice… Lack of rule of law is the reason why Pakistan had not achieved its potential,” the prime minister said in an exclusive online conversation with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf aired Sunday.
An American Islamic scholar, Hamza Yusuf, is the president of Zaytuna College and had also authored several encyclopedia entries, academic papers, and articles on Muslim bioethics, legal theory, abortion, and many other topics.
The prime minister said no society could ever achieve its potential if there was no rule of law.
“Merit is also associated with rule of law. If you do not have meritocracy in a society, you have this elite which is spoiled, rich and which did not strive and struggle and they sit on the main positions… “Countries disintegrate because of a decadent elite. People do not decay it is the elite that decays,” he remarked.
The prime minister said the fundamental principle of a civilised society was the rule of law where powerful is also equally answerable to the law.
The biggest problem in developing countries is the absence of rule of law and discriminatory laws for the rich and the poor, he explained.
He told the interviewer that he wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state based on the concept of state of Madina by our Prophet (PBUH).
“We want to base this country on two principles. One it should be a welfare state and humane state which takes care of its bottom strata of society and second rule of law.”
Talking about the climate crisis, he said the environment should be treated as sacred.
The biggest environmental disaster in the world called climate change was because human beings had deviated from the basic principle of protecting the earth, he said.
Quoting a Hadith of Holy Prophet (PBUH), advising people to “Work for this world as if you will live forever and work for the hereafter as if you will die tomorrow”, the prime minister said whatever humans would do today would ultimately have an impact on future generations.
He said the Hadith had completely encompassed everything about the environment and how one should be living on earth.
The PM stated that one would have to pursue a humane life if he or she wanted to get close to Allah Almighty.
Imran Khan said the leadership that came up through the political system was just too divorced from faith so they came in for power and compromised for staying in power and gain personal benefits.
“I find every few politicians coming with the specific objectives of looking after humanity. In most of the developing world they come in power for self-interest and for making money.”
"Unfortunately there were very few Mandelas who came in for a noble cause. Our great leader Jinnah, who was founder of Pakistan, was someone who came for a great cause," PM Imran noted.
He said that those politicians were looked down upon because they say they claimed to help the people but contrarily, they helped themselves.
The prime minister said he came into politics because of his faith.
“I had everything. I was already a big name in the country as a sports star and I had enough money. So for me struggling for 22 years to become the prime minister made no sense. The only reason was I believed that I had a responsibility towards society because I was given more than others,” he added.
He said according to all religions, a human being will be tested based on the benefits and privileges given in life.
“I came into politics because I had faith and realised that I was so blessed, so I had a responsibility towards society.”
He said he was not in politics to make personal gains or get benefits of power.
“God has given us power to struggle. Whether we succeed or not is not within our hands.”
When Holy Prophet (PBUH) set up the state of Madina, he unleashed the potential of the people who all became leaders, he commented.
After going outside Pakistan, people get a level playing field there and excel, he observed.
He said in Pakistan only one percent had access to quality education and others did not have opportunities.
“Winning the struggle in the present day Pakistan will unleash the potential of the people of Pakistan. And the second goal is to lift the people out of poverty.”
He said the PTI government started the greatest welfare programmes in the country’s history.
Our objective was to lift people out of poverty, create wealth and spread it around and break the monopoly of the elite and mafias, he added.
He said true faith gives a person dignity and it liberation.