Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised Pakistani-Americans that he is working on a plan to develop the “best cricket team of the world” following the country’s debacle in the recently-concluded ICC World Cup in the UK. Addressing a large crowd at a community event at Washington’s Capital One Arena on Sunday, the cricketer-turned-politician said a ‘Naya Pakistan’ was being created in front of people’s eyes.
“People ask ‘Where is Naya Pakistan?’ it is being created in front of your eyes,” he said.
Referring to the poor show of the Pakistani team in the recently-concluded ICC World Cup cricket tournament, Khan said he had “started working on developing the best cricket team of the world in the next tournament, by bringing the best players in the team”.
“Remember my words,” said the prime minister, who led Pakistan to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
Khan is currently on a three-day visit to the US and is scheduled to meet President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday.
He had given some pep talk to the country’s cricket team ahead of their duel against India in the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup match on June 16, saying the fear of losing leads to a negative and defensive strategy.
Pakistan, which lost the match against India, could not make it to the semi-finals and finished fifth in the tournament that was won by England for the first time.
Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi has blamed the present management of the board for the national team’s poor show in the World Cup.
“I have played cricket all around the world. I have seen the most cricketing talent in Pakistan. But [because] there is no system of merit, we can’t bring that talent up. This is why we are not dominating the world [in cricket] ? because there is no meritocracy,” Khan said.
PM Imran said that America had succeeded thanks to a system based on meritocracy, through which good leaders replaced bad ones.
He regretted that in Pakistan there was a “type of monarchy” and merit did not come into play in the country.
“A society that doesn’t have merit, doesn’t go forward,” Khan
The premier said that the second factor that took democracy forward was leaders being held accountable.
“Democracy is successful when the leadership is answerable.”
Khan said that the form of socialism in place during the 1970s had led to industrial growth in the country stopping and then after 1985, bribery came into politics when the “real damage” took place.
“We saw Pakistan go down before our eyes,” he said.
“Remember this is the time that Pakistan will change, it is changing before you... Our country will rise before you. You will see we will fix the system and let the lower segment come up,” he said.