Pakistanis respond to Imran Khan ‘absurd’ prayer for US visa ban

While thousands of people rallied in US cities and at airports to express outrage over President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, a statement from PTI chief Imran Khan welcoming the ban has left Pakistanis in a state of shock.

Addressing his supporters on Sunday, PTI chairman Imran Khan said he prays that Trump also slaps visa ban on Pakistanis. “I pray that Trump stops giving us [Pakistanis] visas because then we will try to fix our own country,” he said.

His statement gave rise to strong reactions from Pakistanis across the world.

Some said if Pakistanis were to be banned from the US, the PTI chief should be banned from travelling to the United Kingdom.

While some Twitter users were confused about Imran’s statement, some felt the party chief was suffering from a drug overdose.

Speaking to APP, an attorney of Pakistani descent Fitzerald Lewis said, “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.”

Further, Dr Asadullah Mir, a Pakistani American educationist stated that Imran’s statement meant Pakistan should be termed a terrorist state by the US. “Putting in simple words, what Khan is praying for is that may Trump designate Pakistan as a terrorist state,” APP quoted Mir as saying.

A day after Trump ordered no-visa policy for seven Muslim states, a White House official hinted that the ban could be extended to other countries, including Pakistan.

In response to a question during his interview to CBS News, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said: “You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others – perhaps we need to take it further”.

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