–PM says Pakistan will fight till the end if India imposes war, asks UN to ‘act before it’s too late’
–Says India inflicting more cruelty on Kashmiris under guise of ‘Islamic terrorism’, demands lifting of curfew
–Regrets Islamophobia in West, says world leaders lack seriousness on addressing climate change challenges
–Questions presence of tax havens, says corrupt elites must not be allowed to park their money abroad
NEW YORK: Prime Minister Imran Khan warned the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) of far reaching consequences in case of an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, as he warned India of fighting till the end if a war is imposed on Pakistan.
“When a war starts between nuclear-armed countries, there will be consequences…it’s not a threat but a fair worry,” he said in his maiden address at UNGA on Friday.
He asked the United Nations to act before it’s too late.
“This is not a time to appease but a time to action… India must lift curfew, free all political prisoners, and the world community must give Kashmiris right to self-determination,” the premier said.
He said there will be bloodbath once curfew is lifted in the occupied valley.
“There are 900,000 troops there, they haven’t come to, as Narendra Modi says — for the prosperity of Kashmir… These 900,000 troops, what are they going to do? When they come out? There will be a bloodbath,” he said.
Under the guise of ‘Islamic terrorism’ India is inflicting more cruelty on the people of Kashmir, said PM Imran.
“There is no other narrative left for India,” said the PM, adding that there is another chance of a Pulwama-like incident to blame and ‘bomb’ Pakistan.
“India must lift this inhuman curfew,” said PM Imran, further saying that ‘picked-up persons’ from the valley should be released by India.
Due to these issues, eight million people under lockdown in the valley are likely to get radicalised, he said.
“Now i must explain what RSS is. Modi is a life member (of RSS).
“It is an organisation inspired by Hitler and Mussolini. They believe in racial purity and superiority. They believe they are an Aryan race.
“They believe in ethnic cleansing of Muslims. They believe a golden age of Hindu rule was stopped by Muslims and then the British occupation.
“What kind of people bring in 900,000 troops for eight million people. These are human beings,” said Prime Minister Imran to applause from the audience.
“What comes with Aryan superiority is arrogance and it makes people commit mistakes and do stupid cruel things like what Modi has done.
“It is arrogance that has blinded Modi. Has he thought about what will happen after the curfew in Kashmir is lifted?
“What will he do? Does he think the people of Kashmir will quietly accept the status quo?”
“When we came into power, we swore that we would try to bring peace. We went to fight the war on terror and we faced losses of (thousands of people).
“I opposed the war because in the 1980s we joined the struggle against the Soviets funded by western countries.
“The mujahideen were trained by the Pakistan Army and they waged the freedom struggle. The soviets called them terrorists and we called them freedom fighters.
“In 1989 soviets retreated; the Americans packed up and left. Here we had indoctrinated them in jihad against foreign occupation and now that th US had taken over, we were supposed to tell them it’s no longer jihad.
“And so the US turned against us and it was a nightmare.
“Taliban were in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda was there; what did Pakistan have to do with it?
“When we came to power we decided we would dismantle what was left. I know India keeps alleging that these groups are there.
“I welcome UN observers, see for yourself.
“We now have a relationship with Afghanistan, Russia and then we wanted to mend fences with India.
“I have friends in India and I love going to India. So when my party came to power, we reached out to India and (said) let’s resolve differences through trade.
“Modi said there were terrorist attacks from Pakistan. We said well we have attacks in Balochistan from your end.
“Unfortunately we didn’t make any head way. Our foreign minister was at the UNGA but they cancelled the meeting.
“Meanwhile a 20-year-old Kashmiri boy blew himself up at the Indian convoy. And India blamed us.
“We told him (Modi) if you have an iota of proof send it. They bombed us (instead), and we retaliated.
“Modi’s entire campaign hinged on how he had killed ten trees of ours. He used words like ‘this is just a trailer and the movie has yet to begun.’
Besides Kashmir, PM Imran also spoke at length on climate change, Islamophobia and corruption.
The first issue addressed by Prime Minister Imran was climate change.
“First of all I start with climate change. So many leaders spoke about climate change but I feel there is a lack of seriousness (to tackle the issue).
“Perhaps some of the leaders who can do a lot do not realise the seriousness of the situation. There are a lot of ideas but they are nothing without funding,” said the premier, who was not reading from a paper.
He noted that Pakistan is in the top ten list of countries who are most affected by climate change.
“We depend on our rivers and 80 per cent of our water comes from glaciers. The glaciers are also in India in the Himalayas, Karakorum and the Hindu Kush.
“If nothing is done, we are scared humans are facing a huge catastrophe.
“In my country where I came into power in KP we planted one billion trees and plan to plant 10bn to counter global warming effects.
“One country cannot do anything, it has to be a combined effort of the world.”
He said the countries contributing to green house gas emissions must be pushed and the UN must take initiative.
Prime Minister Imran, whose speech went beyond the allotted 15 minutes, said the second issue he was speaking about is even more critical — that of illicit financial flows.
“Every year billions of dollars leave the poorer countries and go towards rich countries, siphoned off by the ruling elites of the western world.
“This is devastating the developing world. It is impoverishing them. The rich-poor gap is growing because of them.”
He regretted that the seriousness with which money from drugs or terror financing is treated is not accorded to money laundered from poor countries.
“How will we help [our] 200 million people when we are just using all of our money for debt servicing? We could spend the money lost on our human beings.
“We do not have the money to spend millions on lawyers. We need help from the rich countries; they must show political will.
“How can poor countries spend money on human development?
“Unless the rich countries intend to build walls to stop economic refugees from coming in, there must be a deterrent.
“Corrupt elites must not be allowed to park their money (abroad). Why do we have these tax havens?
“Why shouldn’t rich people pay taxes? Why are they legal, these secret accounts?
“Sooner or later there will be a crisis if the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer.
“I hope the UN takes a lead on this. The IMF and ADB must find a way.”
Addressing the prevalance of Islamophobia, Prime Minister Imran said it has grown at an alarming pace.
“Islamophobia is creating divisions, hijab is becoming a weapon; a woman can take off clothes but she can’t put on more clothes.
“It started after 9/11 and it started because certain western leaders equated Islam with terrorism.
He questioned the use of the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ saying: “There is only one Islam.
“What message does this (the term) send? How is a person in New York going to distinguish between moderate Muslims and radical Muslims?
“This radical Islamic terrorism used by leaders has caused Islamophobia and has caused pain for Muslims.
“In European countries it is marginalising Muslims, and this leads to radicalisation.
“Some of the terrorists were from marginalised Muslim communities. We Muslim leaders have not addressed this issue.
“The basis of all religions is compassion and justice which differentiates us from the animal kingdom.
“The Muslim leaders all became moderates and our government coined a phrase ‘enlightened moderation’.