The ‘much awaited session’ is how Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly’s 74th session was perceived even before it was made given the long claims by Khan that he would be raking up the Kashmir issue at the international forum. Since the time India abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370, there has been vocal show of retaliation from Pakistan and of course, its Prime Minister Imran Khan who has been struggling hard to internationalise the issue.
After the not-so-successful initial attempts, Imran Khan perhaps in his one final attempt at the UN brought in an extensive overview of Pakistan’s economy and why it needs the support of international forums alongside a veiled jibe at India’s minority oppression accusations. He also slammed the United States for ridiculing Islam in the garb of Islamophobia and yes, Kashmir too, on which he spoke for a good 5-8 minutes and repeatedly called for UN action on the issue.
Here’s a quick recap of Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s speech at the UNGA:
Economic Stability: The Pakistan PM urged the international bodies like International Monetary Fund, World Bank to evolve and help the poor countries like Pakistan establish economic stability. He said the developed countries need to support the financially ill countries to stabilize themselves.
Minorities: Giving a backdrop of Islam on how the religion treats everyone equally and no minority can ever be treated unfairly, Imran Khan said there was no question of ill treatment, hence persecution of minorities in the country was a far-fetched concept. In a veiled attack on India, he said some countries believed minorities were suppressed in Pakistan.
Islamophobia: Attacking the US for tarnishing Islam in the guise of Islamophobia after 9/11, Imran Khan asserted that terrorism has no religion and it was unethical of the western countries to mock Prophet Muhammad without even knowing what his teachings are. He said over 70,000 Muslims died in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks and cursed the US for spreading the anti-Muslim propaganda.
Kashmir issue: This is the reason why I’m here is how the Pakistan PM started and not once but thrice did he reiterate that the international community ought to take a stand. He blamed India for radicalisation in Kashmir and cited an American movie in which a young boy resorts to gun because of the oppression and connected it with violence in Kashmir saying heavy troops deployment in the state resulted in youth taking up guns.
Like how? Doesn’t Pakistan have a role to play in instigating the youth turned militants-cum terrorists. He warned the international community once again of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan saying the consequences will have to be borne by the rest of the world. He said the world community needs to stand in solidarity with Kashmiris who, for the past 55 days have been under lockdown with only occasional ease of restrictions and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre for abrogating Article 370 and snatching away what was guaranteed to the people of Kashmir by the Indian Constitution. He categorically lashed out at PM Modi for eulogizing Hindutva and claimed that the RSS idealogue was anti-Muslim referring to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Concluding his speech, Khan asked the UN if it wanted to appease a market of 1.2 billion (India basically) or stand for Kashmiris and let them choose their fate under UN resolution.