Imran Khan’s statement over US ban stuns Pakistani Americans

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While thousands of people from all walks of life and religions across the United States are waging nationwide protests against President Trump’s ban on Syrian refugees and travellers from seven Muslim countries, a statement by PTI Chief Imran Khan to include Pakistan in the list has stunned Pakistani Americans.

In a report published in a Pakistani newspaper on Sunday, Khan said he would pray that President Trump should ban Pakistani visas as well, apparently suggesting that Pakistan be clubbed with the countries which was a source of concern for the new Trump administration with regard to terrorism.

“How can someone who called himself a national leader make such an irresponsible statement? While making such a statement, he clearly missed the underline assumption of this whole affair,” said Fitzerald Lewis, an attorney of Pakistani descent while talking here. He said it was unimaginable that any national leader would make such a reckless statement.

While Trump’s order is largely seen and interpreted by legal, immigration and rights activists as targeting Muslims, the president defended his order saying it was not a Muslim ban but about the concerns over terrorism.

“If you take Trump’s statement at the face value, what Mr. Khan’s proposal means is that Pakistan should also be listed alongside countries which the new administration is concerned about in terms of terrorism,” said Dr Asadullah Mir, a Pakistani American educationist.

He observed that by implication, such a suggestion by the PTI chief spells disaster for the country as it will strengthen the hands of those anti-Pakistani lawmakers and the Indian lobby which are trying for years to designate Pakistan as a terrorist state.

Hamid Malik, another Pakistani American and President of Pakistan Link USA , termed Khan’s remarks as the statement against all Muslims which have badly hurt the sentiments of Pakistani Americans and have brought shame to the country.