Prime Minister Imran Khan met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York yesterday and commended him for his clear articulation of the UN position on Kashmir dispute.
During the meeting with Khan, the UN chief reiterated his deep concern over the human rights and humanitarian situation in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Guterres reaffirmed that he would remain engaged on the issue and conveyed that his offer to help facilitate a peaceful solution continued to stand.
Commending the secretary-general for his clear articulation of the UN position on Kashmir dispute, the prime minister briefed him on the 54-day siege of more than 8mn Kashmiris amidst a communications blackout.
Khan said that such “draconian lock-down” had no parallel in recent history and that the need for its immediate lifting could not be stressed enough.
The prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s rejection of India’s “illegal and unilateral actions of August 5” as these were in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Noting that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had comprehensively documented the previous gross human rights violations by India in Kashmir, Khan underlined that India’s recent actions represented a new chapter of intensified human rights abuses.
He highlighted the risks to regional peace and security that arose from India’s actions, underscoring the responsibility of the UN and international community to take urgent steps to save lives and help resolve the long-standing Kashmir dispute.
Meanwhile, in an interview with CNN, the prime minister said that the world needed to understand the gravity of the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and pressure India to lift the military curfew in the valley.
Speaking with CNN anchor-journalist Christiane Amanpour, Khan talked at length about the issues mention in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.
Highlighting the situation of Indian-administered Kashmir, the premier said that the enormity of the situation could be gauged from the presence of 900,000 Indian troops in the territory.
Ruling out a meeting with his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan noted that besieging Kashmiris for over 50 days was a testament to the mindset of the Indian leader.
The prime minister added that Modi represented the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which he said was established in 1925 after being inspired by Adolph Hitler and Nazism.
“RSS believes in ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India. This ideology of racial superiority is also responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, who was considered soft on Muslims” Khan said, referencing the slain Indian independence leader.
Responding to a question about the role that the US could play to ease tensions in South Asia, the prime minister said that President Donald Trump heads the most powerful country in the world, and is in the best position to do something about the issue of Kashmir.
“Modi does not want international mediation as he knows the moment this issue becomes internationalised, the world will understand that Kashmiris are fighting for the right to self-determination and are subject to the worst human rights abuses by Indian forces,” Khan maintained.
The prime minister urged the international community to move on this issue as it is a flashpoint between two nuclear-armed countries.
“If it was something localised, the world would not have been pushed about it,” he stressed.
In response to a question regarding Iran-US tensions, Khan said that Pakistan does not want conflict near its borders.
Conflict in the Arabian Gulf could lead to an increase in global oil prices and a host of other issues, he noted.
“To be fair with President Trump, all his instincts are against war. I also spoke to President Rouhani of Iran … let’s see where the situation leads,” the prime minister said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohamed Faisal has termed Prime Minister Khan’s speech at the United Nations as history in making.
In a tweet, he said that many Muslim diplomats were in tears when the prime minister referred to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He said that Khan has made a strong case for Muslim Ummah and for Pakistan, adding that the speech would be remembered and referred to in the times to come.
The former chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, has also commended Prime Minister Khan.
In her series of tweets, she said that no one would have imagined a day when a Pakistani would warn the world about dangers of a “fascist organisation like the RSS”.
Mufti wrote “let us stand with Kashmir”, adding that this “inhuman siege imposed to cage and repress Kashmiris” must end.
Former member of the British Parliament, George Galloway, has also commended the premier.
In his tweet, he said that Khan played “first-class Captain’s innings” at UN General Assembly, adding: “Well played, sir.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also raised the issue of Indian-administered Kashmir at the UN General Assembly.
He said that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, and relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
Wang said that China is opposed to any unilateral action that risks complicating the situation.
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