Asad Umar is a 'man of integrity who dares to speak truth', says Lijian Zhao
ISLAMABAD, April 22 - Minister-counsellor of the Chinese Embassy Zhao Lijian on Sunday lauded former Finance minister Asad Umar for his strong moral principles calling him, "A man of integrity. A man who dares to speak truth," according to a Pakistani media report.
Lijian Zhao on Sunday posted a video clip of the outgoing minister on his Twitter Handle, and wrote: "A man of integrity. A man who dares to speak truth. @Asad_Umar #AsadUmar.
The video shows Umar speaking on famed BBC show 'Hard Talk'.
Calling out western leaders, the former Finance Minister said, "I have never lectured on what kind of system should a country have, maybe the western leaders should be ashamed of themselves, talking about democracy, talking about freedom and then reaching out to the same Saudi pockets, to talk out billions of dollars of business deals, the leader of the western world, the leader of the free world Mr. Donald Trump stands up and openly says, 'I am getting so much business from Saudi Arabia for me to worry about what happened to Khashoggi maybe some of the western leader should be ashamed of themselves."
Umar added further: "We are just being consistent, in bilateral relationship which remained the same, regardless of who was in power. We will worry about our China debt problem. Mr. Pompeo should worry about his China debt problem. The USA is the largest debter in the world to China, 1.3 trillion dollars they owe. What Pakistan owes to China? Less than 10% of Pakistan's foreign debt, is owned by China right now, 90% is non Chinese.
Talking about IMF programs, Umar said, "We have been into 12 different IMF programs, in the last thirty years, why has this question never been asked about which source or which country has lent how much money to Pakistan, why it is suddenly, all this much interest and how much money has come from China why was the same question not being asked when the lenders, were western banks."
Asad Umar, who quit Prime Minister Imran Khan's cabinet on Thursday, responded to the Chinese dignitary as saying: "Very kind of you. About time we all stood up for the truth instead of letting the colonial mindset lecture to us. For years we have heard them say that the Chinese model was wrong and bound to fail. We are proud that China has proven them wrong #PakChinaFriendshipZindabad."
The sudden departure of finance minister Asad Umar due to the cabinet reshuffle came as a shock on Thursday, with critics interpreting it as major setback for the PTI government.