–PM stresses need for declaring an international day for combatting Islamophobia
–Says Pakistan supports a two-state solution for Palestine; reiterates desire for Afghan peace
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as the sixth speaker, and highlighted the issue of wave of Islamophobia, speaking on how it had affected Jammu Kashmir dispute, as well as Covid-19.
The premier opened his speech by speaking on the way Pakistan handled the Covid-19 pandemic. “Today, Pakistan’s response is cited among the success stories in controlling and responding to the pandemic,” he said. He went on to remark that many Muslims around the world, particularly in the subcontinent, were being blamed for the spread of the disease.
“Mr president, the pandemic was an opportunity to bring humanity together. Unfortunately, it has instead fanned nationalism, increased global tensions, and given rise to racial and religious hatred” he said, adding that this has exacerbated the wave of Islamophobia.
“This assembly should declare an international day to combat Islamophobia,” he said. While speaking on the rising extremism in India, the premier said, “They believe India is exclusively for Hindus, and others are not equal citizens.”
He talked about how Muslims were incorrectly vilified for spreading the coronavirus and the subsequent segregation and boycotts faced by the Muslims in India.
“As we all know, the marginalisation of human beings leads to their radicalisation,” he added, saying that the Hindu ideology was an attempt to marginalise nearly 300 million people.
Moving onto the Kashmir issue, the PM spoke about the “military siege” orchestrated by the Indian occupation in the area, and how this was an attempt to subjugate the Muslim population of the disputed territory. “An extra-judiciary murdered hundreds of Kashmiris in fake encounters, and refused to even hand over their bodies,” he added.
PM Imran called on the international community to investigate and prosecute this form of “state terrorism”, saying India’s actions were an attempt to “obliterate the distinct Kashmiri identity”. He further stated that this was against the Geneva Charter, council resolutions, and international laws.
The premier added that the people of Kashmir would not submit to Indian occupation. PM Imran emphasised that the Pakistan government was steadfast in helping “Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination”.
PM Imran said that Pakistan has practised “maximum restraint” against India’s attempts to increase military tensions between the two nuclear states through their repeated ceasefire violations.
He said that it would not be possible to have peace in the subcontinent until the Kashmir issue was resolved, and called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take “enforcement actions” to prevent a disaster.
PM Imran remarked that Muslims were not the cause of this virus, but victims of it as are many countries. He spoke about smart lockdowns and how this allowed the country to battle the novel disease without indirectly hurting the poorest members of society. Furthermore, he asked for an increase and expanse in the debt relief in order to assure that Pakistan can make its way “out of the woods”.
The premier said that Pakistan’s desire for peace and stability is shown through its actions in trying to obtain peace in Afghanistan. He reiterated that military action is not the correct path, and urged Afghan leaders to “seize this historic opportunity to achieve reconciliation” and to arrive at a “political settlement”.
“After almost two decades of war, it is imperative not to allow spoilers within and outside Afghanistan to subvert the peace process,” he said, adding that peace would create “new opportunities for development and regional connectivity”.
Speaking on Palestine issue, PM Imran said, “Pakistan continues to support a two-state solution”, and that “a just and lasting settlement is indispensable”.
Speaking on the damage caused by illicit cashflow from developing countries to developed countries and off-shore tax havens, the premier said this “leads to the impoverishment of the developing nations” and causes currency depreciation.
He talked about the “lack of political will” in developed countries to curb this issue and warned that if this issue is not addressed, it would spark a much larger crisis than the current migration crisis. The premier called on the assembly to “ensure speedy repatriation of stolen wealth.”
He further expressed his disappointment in the apparent bigotry of people, such as the republication of offensive caricatures by Charlie Hebdo.
PM Imran also spoke on the imminent threat of climate change, citing the Australian fires and other environmental disasters that have taken place this year. He spoke on how Pakistan has committed to planting ten billion trees to counter climate change.
The premier his speech by stating Pakistan would continue to support the UN’s goals for global peace and prosperity.