Peace not possible without addressing Kashmir: PM Imran tells UNGA

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday addressed the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly and raised the Jammu and Kashmir issue in front of the international community,

On this occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while highlighting grave human rights 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.

Citing the COVID-19 outbreak. PM Imran said, “Today, Pakistan’s response is cited among the success stories in controlling and responding to the pandemic.”

PM Imran Khan spoke about smart lockdowns and how this allowed the country to battle the novel disease without indirectly hurting the poorest members of society. Besides, the prime minister asked for an increase and expanse in the debt relief in order to assure that Pakistan can make its way “out of the woods”.

Speaking on the damage caused by illicit cash flow from developing countries to developed countries and off-shore tax havens, he said this “leads to the impoverishment of the developing nations” and causes currency depreciation.

The premier talked about the “lack of political resolve” in developed countries to control this issue and warned that if this issue is not addressed, it would spark a much larger crisis than the current migration crisis.

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.

“Mr. President, the epidemic was an opportunity to bring humanity together. unluckily, 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,” PM Imran 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.”

“Muslims were incorrectly vilified for spreading the COVID-19 and the subsequent segregation and boycotts faced by the Muslims in India,” he added.

“As we all know, the marginalization of human beings leads to their radicalisation,” he added, saying that the ideology was an attempt to marginalise nearly 300 million people.

Highlighting the Kashmir issue, the prime minister spoke about the “military siege” orchestrated by the Indian occupation in the area. “An extra-judiciary murdered hundreds of Kashmiris in fake encounters, and refused to even hand over their bodies.”

PM Imran Khan 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 cited that this was against the Geneva Convention, council resolutions, and international laws.

He urged that the Pakistan government was steadfast in helping “Kashmiri in their legitimate struggle for self-determination”.

PM Khan added that Pakistan has practiced “maximum restraint” against India’s attempts to increase military tensions between the two nuclear states through their repeated ceasefire violations.

The premier said it would not be possible to have peace in the subcontinent until the Kashmir dispute was resolved, and urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) to take “enforcement actions” to put off a disaster.

“Pakistan’s desire for peace and stability is shown through its actions in trying to obtain peace in Afghanistan, PM Imran added. 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 crucial not to permit spoilers within and outside Afghanistan to subvert the peace process,” he said, adding that peace would create “new opportunities for development and regional connectivity”.

Pakistan would continue to support the UN’s goals for global peace and prosperity, Prime Minister Imran Khan closed his speech.

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