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July 22, 2019

Video: PM Imran’s address to Pakistanis at Washington Capital One Arena


Mon, Jul 22, 2019

WASHINGTON: Hours before his meeting with US President Donald Trump scheduled on Monday at White House, Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday assured the nation that he would put their case before him and would neither embarrass them nor let them down before any one.

Addressing the biggest ever gathering of Pakistani Americans at the jam-packed Capital One Arena in the downtown Washington, he said since very first day he had been opposing the military solution in Afghanistan for what he was heavily criticized.

“What you want me to say to talk to Trump…I am proud that … now the whole world is saying that Afghanistan has no military solution. Insha Allah, I will put your case before Donald Trump. I will not embarrass you, Insha Allah,” said the prime minister, who arrived here on a three-day visit on the invitation of President Donald Trump.

He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, and Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari.

The people including men, women and children had travelled from across different states of America and even other countries to reach Washington DC to have a glimpse of Imran Khan, who was on his maiden US visit after assuming the office.

As the prime minister entered the venue in white shalwar kameez and charcoal waistcoat, he waved to the audience who arose from their seats to welcome the one whom they had been yearning to see.

Started with the recitation of Surah Fateha followed by the national anthems of Pakistan and the United States, the event was moderated by Senator Faisal Javed in his signature style.

The prime minister told the charged gathering holding party flags that while coming into politics some 23 years ago, he had said that “I have never bowed down before anyone except Allah and Insha Allah will not let my nation down before anyone.”

The audience waved their mobile phones’ flashlights on a national song ‘jaag utha hay sara watan’ before the thrilling performance of Junoon band.

A video documentary was shown on the journey of Imran Khan starting from his cricketing career, building Shaukat Khanum cancer hospital, formation of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, political struggle and then becoming the chief executive of the country, falsifying all discouraging notions.

He reiterated his resolve to uplift Pakistan by bringing a clean government and ending corruption through a merit-based system where the leaders would be accountable for their deeds.

Going tough on the opposition leaders, he announced to withdraw the A-class jail facilities from Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari and jail them along with the ordinary prisoners.

The prime minister also announced to reform the Pakistani cricket team and assured the community that in the next World Cup, they would see an efficient and capable team in the field.

Deliberating the contours of his Naya Pakistan based on the principles of State of Madina, Imran Khan said it would ensure meritocracy, accountability for the influential and unformed curriculum to end the apartheid education system.

He said the government would reform all the loss-making entities it had inherited including the PIA, Pakistan Railways, power and gas sectors.

“There is a bit difficult time of four to six months or a year. We will get Pakistan out of it and make its self-dependent,” the prime minister remarked.

Reiterating his government’s stance of documentation of the national economy, he warned the traders that they would have to pay taxes to make the country pay back the hefty loans which had swelled from Rs 6,000 billion to Rs 30,000 billion during the last ten years.

He said the previous rulers would have to return the looted money if they wanted to get rid of jail or go abroad.

“This is Tabdeeli (change). In Pakistan, law never accounted the influential ones. This is Tabdeeli. This will rise the nation and make the Pakistan a great country,” he added.