PTI chief claims U.S. president’s executive action could help prevent ‘brain drain.’
Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has told supporters he ‘prays’ U.S. President Donald Trump will extend his travel ban to Pakistanis trying to enter America, claiming it could prevent the country’s talent from seeking its fortunes abroad.
Last week, Trump signed an executive order suspending immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim majority countries—Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Suden and Yemen. The informal “Muslim ban” has provoked outrage globally, with American citizens demonstrating at airports across the country against it.
Khan offered his support to the ban at a political rally in Sahiwal on Sunday. Denouncing the ban as “un-Islamic,” the PTI chief hailed Iran for retaliating by announcing a similar ban on Americans. “I want to tell all my fellow Pakistanis today, I pray that Donald Trump really bans visas for us,” Khan said, adding that the move could help Pakistan retain its talent and prevent “brain drain” from the country. The rightwing politician also urged educated Pakistanis to abandon plans to go abroad and focus on helping Pakistan become a better nation.
“And then if America tells us they are stopping visas for us we will also, like Iran, tell them we are going to stop visas for Americans,” Khan added.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government has yet to comment on Trump’s ban.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has hinted that Pakistan could be included in the list of countries from which immigration has been banned in later additions to the present order. “You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others—perhaps we need to take it further,” he told CBS News to questions about why certain countries with alleged links to terrorist networks had been spared the travel ban.