Former prime minister Imran Khan Monday said that Pakistan cannot progress with dual standards of law. Addressing intellectuals through a video link here, he laid down the importance of establishing a just system in society, terming it necessary for unleashing the true potential of its people; “the West was prosperous because of rule of law on the land”. “Existence of a just system differentiates a civilised society from an animal society; in the latter case ‘the might is right’ prevails while a civilised society is governed by rule of law, which makes both powerful and weak people equal before the law,” he deplored. He pointed out that without rule of law, democracy cannot exist in Pakistan and hence the country would not progress. Citing an example, he claimed that the government does not want to hold elections in the country within 90 days, which was the stipulated time in the Constitution.”Look at the circus in Pakistan; the government says that it has no money to hold the polls, which is a violation of the Constitution,” he said. He also noted that in the absence of a just system, the powerful people in Pakistan get NRO while comparing it with the West where the powerful people were ‘easiest’ to catch if they commit corruption. He also noted that people get most of their education in English, but it was not appropriate to become a ‘mental slave’ of the West, adding that such a mindset loses the ability to be innovative. The PTI chief also laid emphasis on the welfare state; “it was the responsibly of a state to protect the weak section of the society”. Referring to the Scandinavian countries, he said those countries were functioning on a just system and rule of law, and therefore their people were prosperous. Imran said that his government also tried to turn Pakistan into a welfare country and his health card initiative was a part of that. However, he castigated the incumbent government for stopping the health cardprogramme in Punjab, an initiative of the PTI government. He said that to provide free health coverage worth Rs1 million to the middle and lower-middle classes, his government launched the health card; before this programme, these people faced the daunting prospect of huge debt during medical treatment. “The health card was a protection for the poor people,” he added. PTI chairman noted that the programme under which a poor person could get treatment from a private hospital was lauded by international bodies, adding that later the private hospitals were ready to establish healthcare centres in the rural areas. However, everything has stopped now. He did not agree with the impression that it was necessary to generate money first before doing things for the underprivileged class like a welfare state; “the truth was the exact opposite”. He said in the absence of a rule of law and a just system, a country could not have an independent foreign policy, as a handful of people in power would compromise the country’s sovereignty for personal gains. The former premier recalled that he took the decision to approach Russia in the interest of his people.”Why should we take sides in other country’s fights, our only concern should be our people’s interests. Bear in mind, when a foreign policy is made to please others, it is done at the expense of our people’s interests. Today, we are seeing the outcome of this flawed foreign policy in the shape of economic meltdown and the rising cost of living,” the PTI chief lamented.