–Bozkir says Kashmir dispute resolution key to sustainable peace in South Asia
–FM Qureshi tells visiting dignitary that he wants UNGA to discuss Kashmir
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday met United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) president-elect Volkan Bozkir, who called on him at his office during his visit to Pakistan, and stressed that the United Nations (UN) must play its rightful role in addressing the grave situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and ensuring that Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination promised to them in the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
The premier highlighted the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in IOK since August 5, 2019, as well as the ongoing gross and systematic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people and the attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory.
He apprised the president-elect of his government’s initiatives to mitigate and suppress the socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, focused on saving lives, securing livelihoods, and stimulating the economy.
PM Imran said that his government deployed an $8 billion stimulus package for the poor and the needy, which was the highest social security coverage by any government in the history of Pakistan.
He further highlighted his call for ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’ and stressed the need to provide greater fiscal space to the developing countries to overcome deleterious socioeconomic impacts of coronavirus pandemic.
He also highlighted the high importance he attached to addressing climate change, countering Islamophobia, and combating illicit financial flows from developing countries.
The premier extended warm felicitations to Bozkir on his election as the president of the historic 75th Session of the UNGA.
Later, the UNGA president-elect, while addressing a news conference along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, stressed that resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute is key to sustainable peace in South Asia.
Bozkir said that regional security should be maintained through political and diplomatic means. He said that difficult challenges can be resolved peacefully through meaningful mutual engagements.
He said that FM Qureshi and PM Imran Khan presented their approach to the issue during talks. “If my assistance is requested by the parties, I will be ready to provide contributions within his mandate,” he said.
FM Qureshi said that the UNSC has deliberated on the lingering dispute three times in a year which is unprecedented and Pakistan is grateful to it. He said that Pakistan desires that the discussion on the dispute is also held in the UNGA as it is the pulse of the world that highlights the views of the comity of nations.
The foreign minister said that the people of IOK are concerned over the demographic change taking place there. He said that if the Kashmir issue is not resolved, peace in the region will remain disturbed, and its implications will even go beyond the region.
He added that Kashmir has become a flashpoint, and the UN must act now on the issue.
Responding to a question about the UN Military Observer Group in Pakistan and India, FM Qureshi said that Pakistan has given freedom to the UN Observers and they share their reports, while on the other, he said, India has obstructed the working of the UN Observers. He called upon the UN to play a role in this regard.
The minister said the number of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) had been very high last year, and this year so far, India has committed 1,845 ceasefire violations, targeting innocent civilians.
Bozkir said that Pakistan is a key country at the United Nations which makes extensive and substantial contributions to the world body’s work including the peace operations. He said that the UN looks forward to close cooperation with Pakistan.
Referring to his meeting with PM Imran, the president elect of the UNGA said that Imran is a well-known political figure in the world who has a vision for the region and the world peace and security as well as also other important issues faced by the world including climate change and problems of least developed countries.
He said that he was impressed by the premier. “Pakistan has been a good example to the world with its policies related to the global pandemic. It has performed better than any other country in dealing with global pandemic and I am happy to observe it also with my own eyes,” Bozkir said.
He stressed the UN role must also be more towards the countries that are in need. Bozkir said the world is currently faced with many challenges including humanitarian and deadly conflicts. He said that the unprecedented health challenge of Covid-19 is a threat with social political and economic consequences.
Extending condolences to Pakistan over the loss of lives it faced due to Covid-19, Bozkir said that Pakistan has been a good example for the world to deal with the pandemic through its policies. He said that Pakistan has done better than other countries.
FM Qureshi said he also briefed the president-elect of the UNGA about the role played by Pakistan in pushing forward the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the challenges that lie ahead and the recent positive developments.