-Highlights Indian barbarism against Kashmiris in IoK/;-Says Peace in South Asia is not possible unless Kashmir dispute is resolved
-Demands India should agree to solve Kashmir issue through UN resolutions “-Warns rising tide of Islamophobia, Urges United
-Nations to play active role in curbing religious hatred
-Lauds positive role of UN General Secretary over pandemic, climatic change
-Showcases Pakistan’s success against pandemic
By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday virtually addressed the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and lauded the positive role played by the global body’s general secretary in tackling coronavirus.
Prime Minister Imran Khan while highlighting grave human rights (HR) violations in the Indian occupied territory said that peace was not possible in South Asia unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved.
“Security Council has reviewed the Kashmir issue thrice in the past one year,” he said and urged the international community to probe the serious violations committed by the Indian authorities. Imran Khan said that excess security personnel were deployed in the territory to control eight million Kashmiris besides killing several of them extra-judicially in fake encounters.
He said that Pakistan supports the right of self-determination of Kashmiris and considered it their just right. “India should agree to solve Kashmir issue through UN resolutions and as per the wishes of the Kashmiris,” he said and demanded of the Indian authorities to immediately lift curfew in the territory and stop human rights violations. He further warned of a befitting response from the nation in case of any Indian aggression.
Moreover, In his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, Prime Minister Imran Khan cautioned the world against rising Islamophobia across the world. In a virtual address, the prime minister lamented that at a time when the global community should have come together to combat the novel coronavirus, it had instead stoked racism and religious hatred. Islamophobia was rising in several countries, he said, adding that Muslims were being killed, mosques were being desecrated and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was being insulted “in the name of freedom of speech”.
“We believe that the driving force in international relations must be cooperation in accordance with the principles of international law and not confrontation and force. We all must emphatically reaffirm our support for multilateralism.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the oneness of humanity. No one is safe unless everyone is safe,” PM Imran stated.
The prime minister also shone a light on Pakistan’s efforts to curb the coronavirus and noted that Pakistan’s response was recognised as one of the “success stories” in controlling the disease.
“However, we are still not out of the woods like no country is out of the woods today,” said Prime Minister Imran, adding that from the outset of the pandemic, developing countries were at a disadvantage due to lack of fiscal resources.
He also directed UNGA’s attention towards money laundering and corruption by the elite of developing countries who stash their wealth in tax havens in developed countries.
“Since they are beneficiaries, there is a lack of political will in the rich countries to curb this criminal activity,” he declared and added that if money launderers were provided with sanctuaries, the gulf between poor and rich countries will continue to grow and may lead to a bigger challenge than the current migration crisis.
He also warned that India had “upped its military ante” against Pakistan in order to divert attention from its domestic problems. The premier once again directed the world community’s attention towards the human rights violations by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir.
The prime minister also spoke about Israel’s occupation of Palestine and said that “a just and lasting settlement is indispensable for the Middle East and actually the world”.
Prime Minister Imran said that the “illegal annexations” of Palestinian lands, the building of illegal settlements and imposing “inhumane living conditions” on Palestinian people could not lead to peace.
He said that Pakistan supported a two-state solution “in line with the UNGA and UNSC resolutions within the international agreed parameters; and they are pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Shareef as the capital of a united, contiguous and independent Palestinian state”.
“The United Nations should be made fully responsive to the challenges of our times. A comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, is essential to promote greater democracy, accountability, transparency and efficiency,” the prime minister insisted.
Unique UNGA session
The current session, which is the 75th session of the UNGA, is unique in the world body’s history with leaders not attending in person and other meetings being held online.
World leaders will send recorded video statements, which would be introduced by the respective country’s envoy, and then played in the UNGA Hall “as live”.
At the 74th UNGA session last year, PM Khan had highlighted the suffering of Kashmiris and the Indian move to annex the occupied territory in a speech stretching more than 45 minutes,
He had said that the very first action that India needed to take was to lift the curfew in occupied Kashmir and then release all detained prisoners. “And then the world community must give the Kashmiris the right of self-determination,” he had stressed.
PM moots strategy to end flight of ‘graft dollars’
A day earlier, the premier had presented a nine-point strategy before the international community to stop the flight of “corruption dollars” from poor to rich countries, which he said was bleeding developing economies.
He had made the remarks before a high-level panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI), which met in New York on Thursday on the sidelines of the UNGA.
The prime minister had urged rich nations to take immediate steps to return the “stolen assets” of developing nations.
Noting that each year, billions of dollars illicitly flew out of developing countries, PM Imran had said his government came to power with a robust public mandate to get rid of corruption.
“We have taken several initiatives domestically. What is needed is strengthening international cooperation to bring perpetrators of financial crime to justice,” he had said. “This bleeding of the poorer countries must stop. International community must adopt decisive actions.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan was informed about the schedule of PM’s speech at the UN General Assembly and he was the 3rd speaker in the afternoon session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) 75th session.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday he will hold elections on vacant seats if opposition lawmakers resign.
Talking to journalists in Islamabad, the prime minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif’s address to All Parties Conference (APC) meant to create differences between the incumbent government and Pakistan Army.
PM Khan further said, “We had allowed the broadcast of Nawaz Sharif’s speech because we knew that many leaders would protest in name of freedom of expression if the speech had not been allowed to air”.
Commenting over opposition’s planned protest demonstrations, the premier said that Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI)-led federal government was not afraid of opposition parties protest movement and added that Pakistan Army support decisions of incumbent government because “we are not corrupt”.
PM Khan reiterated that he would not give any (National Reconciliation Ordinance) NRO-like concession to the opposition and will hold by-elections on seats vacated by opposition lawmakers.
While asked about opposition leaders meetings with military leadership, PM Khan said, “What can I say about those who meet secretly with the military leadership because I know about all those meetings.”
The prime minister said that there is no political future of PPP leader Asif Zardari and PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif and they keep JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman with them because they do not have the manpower.
He said that sugar and wheat crisis won’t occur this year in the country as the government has finalised strategy, but on the same hand has warned that a major gas crisis would occur in the upcoming winter season.
While speaking over the recent hike in medicine prices, the prime minister said that the federal cabinet had approved an increase in prices of 94 life-saving drugs to ensure their availability in the market.