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Friday, April 24, 2009

An Interview With Imran Khan By Gul Jammas Hussain

In this interview I agree with Imran on taxation and disagree on his views re: the "very" tolerant society part. From Gen Zi(n)a's usurpation of power on we have become increasingly intolerant, parochial and communal by the day.

All this fanaticism and frenzy we witness today cannot be laid at the feet of Mushy or the US.

Invoking Allah and killing Shias, Sunnis, Ahmedis...even internecine Sunni rivalry started way before US stepped here. His taking liberties with truth and his obsession with Mushy almost rivlas that of Sharif.~~~t

Q: How and why has Pakistan, once so tolerant a society, become a country increasingly linked to extremism and terrorism?

A: Pakistan is and has always been a very moderate tolerant society because Islam here was always of the Sufi version. And so basically people are very easygoing, you know, they are not hardliners. And it’s reflected by even the religious parties… Some of them are not extreme parties, some of them have very moderate views. But even they do not get many votes from the people. They are always marginal parties. But this current militancy is because of a direct reaction to the way the Americans have fought this war on terror, the way… in the name of the war on terror, it has become a war of terror. And the way they have indiscriminately killed people....

The main challenge also will be revenue collection in Pakistan. And that also, I believe, is more possible with a government in which the ministers themselves and the leadership itself pay taxes. Where they lead by example, they pay taxes. No one should be allowed to contest elections in Pakistan who does not declare his income, who does not declare the amount of taxes he has paid and his source of income -- the assets, the source of income, and taxes. And if you lead by example and then utilize the people’s taxes for the people’s benefit, rather than the lavish lifestyle of the ruling elite, I think tax collection can be doubled in Pakistan very quickly.


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