Imran Khan pledges to restore Pakistan’s economy

People watch a televised address of Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister Imran Khan (Fareed Khan/AP) Credit: AP/Press Association Images

Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister Imran Khan said Sunday that the country was in the worst economic condition it has seen and pledged to cut government expenditure, end corruption and repatriate public funds.

In his first televised speech Khan, who a day earlier was sworn in as 22nd prime minister, promised reforms across all fields.

“I want to see Pakistan a great country” with social services for the poor, Khan said.

Khan pointed to the growing divide between the rich and poor and said he would adopt austerity measures to relieve the strain on the economy and tackle the country’s foreign debt, more than £75 billion.

“The interest that we have to pay on our debt has reached a level that we have to take on more debt just to repay our obligations,” said Khan, calling on Pakistanis abroad to save their money in the country’s banks during this financial crunch.

Khan added that his government would also reform the police, health and education sectors, referring to his party’s successes in those fields in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Khan spoke only briefly on foreign policy. “We will keep good relations with all countries; we want peace, as without it no progress and development is possible,” he said.