Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has stressed the need for the world to recognise that the “only way” forward when it comes to Afghanistan is to “strengthen and stabilise the current government”.
Addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via video link, he said if the world community incentivises the new Afghan government, it will be a win-win situation for everyone. He said that the Taliban have promised to respect human rights, have an inclusive government and not to allow their soil to be used by terrorists.
The premier pointed out that this is a critical time for Afghanistan. If we neglect Afghanistan right now, according to the UN, half the people of Afghanistan are already vulnerable, and by next year almost ninety per cent of the people in Afghanistan will go below the poverty line.
PM Khan said there is a huge humanitarian crisis looming ahead and this will have serious repercussions not just for the neighbours of Afghanistan but everywhere.
He urged the UN Secretary-General to mobilize the international community for the humanitarian assistance of the Afghan people.
Narrating in detail the impact of the war on terror and Afghan conflict on Pakistan, Imran Khan said Pakistan suffered 80,000 casualties and a loss of $150 billion to the economy.
Imran Khan said Pakistan suffered so much was because it became an ally of the US coalition in the war in Afghanistan. There were attacks being conducted from the Afghan soil into Pakistan. He said there should have been a word of appreciation, regretting rather than appreciation, we are blamed for the turn of events in Afghanistan.
Alluding to Indian atrocities and oppression in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister said India is engaged in efforts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory and transform it from a Muslim majority into a Muslim minority.
PM Imran maintained that the Indian actions violate the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Jammu and Kashmir.
The resolutions clearly prescribe that the final disposition of the disputed territory should be decided by its people, through a free and impartial plebiscite held under the UN auspices.
Regretting the world’s approach to violations of human rights lacks even-handedness, he said such double standards are the most glaring in case of India, where this RSS-BJP regime is being allowed to get away with human rights abuses with complete impunity.
He said the most recent example of Indian barbarity was the forcible snatching of the mortal remains of the great Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, from his family, denying him a proper Islamic funeral and burial, in accordance with his wishes and Muslim traditions. He called on the UN General Assembly to demand that Syed Geelani’s mortal remains be allowed to be buried in the cemetery of martyrs with appropriate Islamic rites.
Pakistan desires peace with India, neighbours
Reaffirming Pakistan’s desire for peace, he stressed that sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
He said the onus remains on India to create a conducive environment for meaningful and result-oriented engagement with Pakistan. He said India should reverse its unilateral and illegal.
One, reverse its unilateral and illegal measures instituted since 5th August 2019
Two, stop its oppression and human rights violations against the people of Kashmir; and
Three, halt and reverse the demographic changes in the occupied territory.
It is also essential to prevent another conflict between Pakistan and India. India’s military build-up, development of advanced nuclear weapons, and acquisition of destabilising conventional capabilities, can erode mutual deterrence between the two countries.
Emphasizing for collectively dealing with the issue of Islamophobia, PM Imran Khan regretted the linking of terrorism with Islam by some quarters, which, he said, increased the tendency of right-wing, xenophobic and violent nationalists, extremists and terrorist groups to target Muslims.
He pointed out that the worst and most pervasive form of Islamophobia now rules India. He said the hate-filled Hindutva ideology, propagated by the fascist RSS-BJP regime, has unleashed a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million strong Muslim community. Mob lynching by cow vigilantes, frequent pogroms, discriminatory citizenship laws to purge India of Muslims and a campaign to destroy mosques across India and obliterate its Muslim heritage and history, are all part of this criminal enterprise.
Imran Khan called upon the UN Secretary-General to convene a global dialogue on countering the rise of Islamophobia. Our political efforts must continue to promote interfaith harmony.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also called for a comprehensive strategy to address the triple crisis of Covid -19, economic downturn and climate emergency.
Stressing for vaccine equity, he said everyone must be vaccinated against the pandemic as soon as possible.
He said adequate financing must be made available to developing countries through comprehensive debt restructuring, expanded Official Development Assistance, redistribution of unutilized Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and allotment of a greater proportion of the SDRs to developing countries to deal with the pandemic.
Expressing satisfaction over Pakistan’s successfully handling of pandemic, PM Imran Khan said our calibrated strategy of smart lockdowns helped save lives and livelihoods and kept the economy afloat. Over 15 million families survived through our social protection programme of Ehsaas.
Turning to the existential threat posed by climate change, the Prime Minister said though Pakistan’s contribution to global emissions is negligible, yet it is amongst the ten most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change in the world.
Being fully aware of our global responsibilities, we have embarked upon game-changing environmental programmes including reforesting through our 10 Billion Tree Tsunami, preserving natural habitats, switching to renewable energy, removing pollution from our cities and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Talking about the scourge of illicit financial flows from developing countries, PM Imran Khan said naming and shaming the ‘haven’ destinations and developing a comprehensive legal framework to halt and reverse the illicit financial flows are most critical actions to stop this grave economic injustice.
He said the Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) has calculated that a staggering seven trillion dollars in stolen assets are parked in the financial “haven” destinations. He said this organized theft and illegal transfer of assets has profound consequences for developing nations.
The premier said a trillion dollars every year is taken out of the developing world. He said retrieving the stolen assets from the developed countries is impossible for poor nations. The rich countries have no incentives, or compulsion, to return this ill-gotten wealth, which belongs to the masses of the developing world.
PM Imran Khan urged the General Assembly to take steps meaningfully to address this deeply disturbing and morally repugnant situation.