News Desk |
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation on Live TV at 7.45pm local time.
The premier started his address talking about the Asia Bibi verdict, in which the Supreme Court earlier today acquitted a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy.
He stridently condemned the language used by a “small segment” of people in reaction to the verdict.
He also criticized the protests that broke out, and are still underway, across the country in response to the judgment, saying people’s livelihood was being harmed through the roadblocks and demonstrations. He exhorted to those creating havoc on the streets not to use religion for their political motives and to think of the difficulties Pakistan was already under. He reminded people of the debts that Pakistan had and how the government had to ask ‘friendly’ countries for help to overcome its economic difficulties.
He condemned “the kind of language used today — that the judges are wajib-ul-qatl… and the narrative that there should be opposition against the judiciary…and to ask Generals to rebel against the Army Chief… It is my belief that the principles on which Pakistan was founded, if they are not adhered to Pakistan has no future.”
“Our faith is incomplete if we don’t love our Prophet [PBUH],” he said.
Special Assistant to PM on Media Iftikhar Durrani and Minister of Information Jawad Chaudhury had earlier announced on Twitter that Khan would address the nation at 7:45pm today.
Khan’s address came a day before he is scheduled to leave for China on an official visit. According to the Foreign Office, the prime minister will depart for China at midnight on November 1. Economic assistance to Pakistan is one of the major points of discussion expected to happen during this visit.
The premier has communicated with the people through televised addresses several times since his election to the top office. In his speeches, Khan has shed light on various issues of national importance.
His last address to the nation was on Wednesday last week when Khan reassured the public regarding the steps taken by his government to tackle the economic hardships faced by the country.
The prime minister, whose address came soon after he returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia, had described the $6 billion bailout package by the Kingdom as a big relief for Pakistan and vowed to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Yemen to end their ongoing conflict.
Khan had said he also expected Saudi Arabia-like monetary assistance from two other friendly countries after which the government might not need to seek as big a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as had been planned earlier.