Pakistani PM Imran Khan asks “UN Security Council to protect Kashmiris from “impending genocide by India”

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By Shafek Qureshi & Shahid Saleem, APP :- 

Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday urged the UN Security Council to protect the Kashmiris from “an impending genocide by India” and warned that there would be no durable peace and stability in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was resolved on the basis of international legitimacy.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Imran Khan said India in an attempt to divert the world’s attention from its actions in Jammu and Kashmir was upping the military ante against Pakistan.

Text of PM Imran Khan’s Speech

“I want to make it clear that any attempt by the fascist totalitarian RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)-led Indian government to aggress against Pakistan will be met by a nation that will fight for its freedom to the end.”

“I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT ANY ATTEMPT BY THE FASCIST TOTALITARIAN RSS (RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH)-LED INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO AGGRESS AGAINST PAKISTAN WILL BE MET BY A NATION THAT WILL FIGHT FOR ITS FREEDOM TO THE END”

Building upon his last year’s address where he spoke about the gross human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister said Kashmir had been rightly described as a “nuclear flash point”.

“The Security Council must prevent a disastrous conflict and secure the implementation of its own resolutions as it did in the case of East Timor,” Imran Khan told the 193-member world body.

He said the Security Council had considered the situation in Jammu and Kashmir three times in the past year. “It must take appropriate enforcement actions. It must also take steps to protect the Kashmiris from an impending genocide by India.”

In a rare virtual address to the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly being held in New York, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke at length about the “smart lockdown” policy of Pakistan that won international acclaim, creation of a 500 billion US dollars fund for the developing world, climate change, India’s state sponsorship of Islamophobia and global framework to stem the illicit financial flows.

The prime minister told the world body that India was playing a dangerous game of upping the military ante against Pakistan in a nuclearized environment, to divert the world’s attention from its illegal actions and atrocities in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“Despite constant Indian provocations and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary targeting innocent civilians, Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint.

“WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY SENSITIZED THE WORLD COMMUNITY ABOUT A ‘FALSE FLAG’ OPERATION AND ANOTHER ILL-CONCEIVED MISADVENTURE BY INDIA”

“We have consistently sensitized the world community about a ‘false flag’ operation and another ill-conceived misadventure by India.” Imran Khan said his parents were born in colonial India and he was the first generation that grew up in an independent Pakistan, and warned.

“The fascist totalitarian RSS-led Indian government to aggress against Pakistan”. The Pakistani nation would fight for its freedom to the end, he added.

PM Imran Khan virtually addresses the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly
PM Imran Khan virtually addresses the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly

KASHMIR:

The prime minister said Pakistan had always called for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir dispute.

He, however, pointed out that to achieve that end “India must rescind the measures it has instituted since 5th August 2019, end its military siege and other gross human rights violations, and agree to resolve the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and of course the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”

Imran Khan, in his speech a major portion of which dealt with the Kashmir cause, said for over 72 years, India had illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and in blatant violation of the resolutions of the Security Council and indeed its own commitments to the people of Kashmir.

“INDIA MUST RESCIND THE MEASURES IT HAS INSTITUTED SINCE 5TH AUGUST 2019, END ITS MILITARY SIEGE AND OTHER GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS”

“On 5th August last year, India illegally and unilaterally sought to change the status of the occupied territories and deployed additional troops, bringing the total number to 900,000, to impose a military siege on 8 million Kashmiris.”

He mentioned that all the Kashmiri political leaders were incarcerated; about 13,000 Kashmiri youth were abducted and thousands tortured; a complete curfew was imposed, accompanied by a total communications blackout.

He said the Indian occupation forces used brute force, including pellet guns against peaceful protestors; imposed collective punishments, including the destruction of entire neighbourhoods, and extra-judicially murdered hundreds of innocent young Kashmiris in fake “encounters”, refusing even to hand over their bodies for burial.

“The Kashmiri media, and those daring to raise their voice, are being systematically harassed and intimidated through the use of draconian laws,” Imran Khan said. All of that had been well documented in the reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, communications from the Special Rapporteurs of Human Rights Council, and statements from human rights and civil society organizations, he added.

“The international community must investigate the grave violations and prosecute the Indian civil and military personnel involved in state terrorism and serious crimes against humanity, being perpetrated, I am sad to say, with complete impunity.”

The objective of the brutal campaign, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, was to impose what the RSS-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) regime had itself called the ‘Final Solution’ for Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the military siege was being followed by moves to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. “This”, the prime minister termed, was an attempt to “obliterate the distinct Kashmiri identity in order to affect the outcome of a plebiscite envisaged in the UN Security Council resolutions”.

“This action is in violation of the UN Charter, Council resolutions and international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention. Changing demographic structure of occupied territory is a war crime,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the brave Kashmiri people would never submit to the Indian occupation and oppression.

BRAVE KASHMIRI PEOPLE WOULD NEVER SUBMIT TO THE INDIAN OCCUPATION AND OPPRESSION

“Their struggle is indigenous … They are fighting for a just cause and generation after generation have laid down their lives to rid themselves of Indian occupation.”

Imran Khan said, “The government and people of Pakistan are committed to standing by and supporting their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination.”

INDIA:

He said India was the only country in the world, which sponsored Islamophobia.

“The one country in the world today where, I am sad to say, the state sponsors Islamophobia, is India.” Dwelling at length about India’s extremist ideology, Imran Khan said it was being ruled by the RSS whose founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy.

“While the Nazis’ hate was directed at the Jews, the RSS directs it towards the Muslims and to a lesser extent towards the Christians,” he added.

The RSS, he said, believed that India was exclusively for Hindus while the rest of its citizens were not equal citizens. “The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra by subjugating, even cleansing India’s 200 million Muslims and other minorities.”

He recalled that in 1992, the RSS destroyed Babri Mosque; in 2002, some 2,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Gujarat, under the watch of Chief Minister Modi; and in 2007, over 50 Muslims were burnt alive by the RSS arsonists aboard the Samjhota Express Train.

In Assam, Imran Khan said, around two million Muslims faced the prospects of being arbitrarily stripped of their nationality through the adoption of discriminatory laws. He mentioned reports of large concentration camps being filled with by the Indian Muslim citizens.

He said the Muslims were falsely blamed, vilified and victimized for spreading the coronavirus. They were denied medical attention on many occasions, their businesses were boycotted.

“THE HINDUTVA IDEOLOGY IS SET TO MARGINALIZE ALMOST 300 MILLION HUMAN BEINGS – MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS AND SIKHS”

“Cow vigilantes attack and kill Muslims with impunity. Last February, Muslims faced targeted killings, with police complicity in New Delhi,” he added.

The prime minister said mass registrations in the past had often been a precursor to genocide, and cited the examples of the Nuremburg Laws in Germany in 1935 and then in 1982 in Myanmar.

“The Hindutva ideology is set to marginalize almost 300 million human beings – Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.”

“This is unprecedented in history and does not augur well for the future of India as we all know that marginalization of human beings leads to their radicalization,” Imran Khan warned.

PALESTINE:
The prime minister said as Palestine remained a ‘festering wound’, a just and lasting settlement was indispensable, for the Middle East and actually the world.

“Illegal annexations of Palestinian territory, the building of illegal settlements and the imposition of inhuman living conditions on the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, cannot bring peace to a troubled region,” he added.

“ILLEGAL ANNEXATIONS OF PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, BUILDING OF ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS AND IMPOSITION OF INHUMAN LIVING CONDITIONS ON THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, CANNOT BRING PEACE TO A TROUBLED REGION”

Imran Khan said, “Pakistan continues to support a two-state solution – in line with UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, within the internationally agreed parameters, and they are; pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a united, contiguous and independent Palestinian state.”

AFGHANISTAN:
The prime minister said Pakistan’s desire for peace in their region was also manifested in their efforts to promote a political solution in Afghanistan.

“I have consistently maintained over the past two decades that there is no military solution to the decades-old conflict in Afghanistan. The only way forward was and is a political settlement, which involves the full spectrum of Afghanistan’s political actors,” he added.

He mentioned Pakistan’s full facilitation to the process that culminated in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement on February 29, 2020. “Pakistan is deeply gratified that it has fulfilled its part of the responsibility,” he added.

He said the Afghan leaders must now seize the historic opportunity to achieve reconciliation and restore peace in their war-torn country.

The prime minister said through the Intra-Afghan Negotiations that commenced on September 12, they must work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

He, however, maintained that the process must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and without any interference or outside influence.

Imran Khan said early return of the Afghan refugees must be a part of the political solution. “After almost two decades of war, it is imperative not to allow “spoilers” – within and outside Afghanistan – to subvert the peace process,” he added.

He was confident that peace and stability in Afghanistan would open new opportunities for development and regional connectivity.

The prime minister said the United Nations remained the best legitimate avenue for collective action – managing international conflicts, fostering peace and security, promoting equitable development, and addressing global problems.

He urged the Secretary-General to take the lead in preventing global conflicts, and convene summit-level meetings to address regional hotspots and resolve the outstanding disputes.

“The United Nations should be made fully responsive to the challenges of our times. A comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, is essential to promote greater democracy, accountability, transparency and efficiency,” he added.

The prime minister assured that Pakistan would continue to participate actively in the process and endeavour, with other member states, to build a world where conflict was outlawed and equitable prosperity for all pursued in conditions of peace and security.

Imran Khan congratulated Volkan Bozkir on his election as the President of the 75th Session of the General Assembly.

“We also appreciate the skilful leadership of the outgoing President, His Excellency Tijani Muhammad-Bande, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

The prime minister also commended the leadership of Secretary General in the extremely turbulent times.

MONEY LAUNDERING:

Imran Khan referred to his address to the General Assembly last year, in which he highlighted the tremendous damage that illicit financial flows from developing countries to rich countries and to offshore tax havens cause.

“This leads to the impoverishment of the developing nations. Money that could be used towards human development is siphoned off by corrupt elites. The loss of foreign exchange causes currency depreciation that in turn leads to inflation and poverty,” he added.

The prime minister said the quest for getting back those stolen resources was nearly impossible, given the cumbersome procedures.

“Moreover, the powerful money launderers have access to the best lawyers. And sadly, because they are the beneficiaries, there is a lack of political will in the rich countries to curb this criminal activity”, he added.

The prime minister said if that phenomena was unaddressed, it would continue to accentuate the inequality between the rich and the poor nations, and eventually would spark off a far bigger global crisis than the present migration issue posed.

“The rich states cannot hold forth on human rights and justice when they provide sanctuary to money launderers and their looted wealth,” he remarked.

The prime minister referred to the existing robust anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regimes, and called upon the UN General Assembly to take the lead in efforts to build a global framework to stem the illicit financial flows and ensure speedy repatriation of stolen wealth.

“It is important to realize that the aid that flows from rich countries to the developing world is miniscule compared to the massive out-flows by our corrupt elites,” he stressed.

COVID-19:

The prime minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had illustrated the oneness of humanity and in their interconnected world no one was safe unless everyone was safe.

He said locking down to control the pandemic had triggered the worst recession since the Great Recession in the last century. “This has hit the poorest countries the hardest as well as the poor in all the countries,” he added.

In Pakistan, Imran Khan said, they realized very early on that if they imposed a strict lockdown like that of several affluent countries, they would have more people dying of hunger than the virus.

“Therefore, we adopted a policy of ‘smart lockdown.’ While concentrating on the virus hot-spots we opened up our agricultural sector immediately and then followed it up by the construction sector, which employed most of the people,” he added.

The prime minister said at the same time, and it was despite financial constraints, that his government deployed an unprecedented US$ 8 billion for health services; plus supported the poorest and most vulnerable households with direct cash payments through the Ehsaas Programme; and then subsidies to small businesses.

“Even though our ‘smart lockdown’ was heavily criticized in the beginning, but thanks to Almighty Allah’s Grace, we have not only managed to control the virus, stabilize our economy, but most importantly, we have been able to protect the poorest segment of the society from the worst fallout of the lockdown,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said today Pakistan’s response was cited among the success stories in controlling and responding to the pandemic.

“However, we are still not out of the woods, like no country is out of the woods today,” he added.

DEBT RELIEF FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:

The prime minister said it was obvious from the outset that the developing countries would need a fiscal space to respond to, and recover from, the COVID crisis.

“Debt relief is one of the best ways to create that fiscal space for developing countries. Therefore, in early April, I called for a ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’,” he stressed. Imran Khan appreciated the G-20’s official debt suspension initiative, and the emergency and rapid financing offered by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), World Bank, Asian Development Bank and UN agencies.

“This, however, is not going to be enough,” he said, adding the IMF had estimated that the developing countries would need over US$ 2.5 trillion to respond and recover from the crisis.

The prime minister said the official debt suspension would need to be extended and expanded. “Additional debt relief measures will also be needed. The development banks should ensure adequate financial inflows,” he added.

He said the rich countries had generated over 10 trillion dollars to finance their own response and recovery. “They should support the creation of at least US$500 billion in new Special Drawing Rights for the developing world,“ he added.

PEACE AND STABILITY:

The prime minister said since his government assumed office, their consistent effort had been to fundamentally transform Pakistan.

“We envisage ‘Naya Pakistan’ to be modelled on the principles of the State of Madina, established by our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). A just and humane society where all government policies are directed at lifting our citizens out of poverty and creating a just and equitable dispensation,” he maintained.

Imran Khan, however, stressed that to achieve that goal, they needed to have peace and stability. “Thus our foreign policy aims to have peace with our neighbours and settle disputes through dialogue,” he added.

He said the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations was an extremely important milestone, as that was the only body in the world that could help them achieve their goals of peace and stability in their neighbourhood.

“This is also a time for us to reflect whether as the United Nations we have been able to realize the promise we collectively made to our peoples,” he added.

The prime minister said, “Today, the foundations of ‘world order’ – non-use of or threat of unilateral force, self-determination of peoples, the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, international cooperation – all these ideals are being systematically eroded.”

He said, “International agreements are being flouted and set aside. Renewed great-power rivalries are leading to a new arms race. Conflicts are proliferating and intensifying. Military occupation and illegal annexations are suppressing the right of human beings to self-determination.”

The prime minister quoted the respected Professor Noam Chomsky as saying that “mankind is at even a greater risk than it was before the 1st and 2nd World Wars in the last century”. It was because of the increased threat of nuclear war, climate change, and sadly the rise of authoritarian regimes.

“We must come together to prevent such a catastrophe,” he maintained.
Imran Khan said Pakistan believed that the driving force in international relations must be cooperation, in accordance with principles of international law, and not confrontation and force.

“We all must emphatically reaffirm our support for multilateralism,” he added.

CLIMATE CHANGE:

Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the threat posed to mankind due to climate change, mentioning the unprecedented fires in Australia, Siberia, California and Brazil; unprecedented flooding in various parts of the world; and record temperatures even in the Arctic Circle.

“This should make us all worried for our future generations,” he said and added that commitments made through the Paris Agreement must be fulfilled, in particular the commitment to mobilize US$ 100 billion annually as climate finance.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s contribution to carbon emissions was minimal, but it was one of those countries most affected by climate change.

“Yet, we have decided to take the lead as we consider addressing climate change a universal responsibility”, he said and mentioned that Pakistan had launched an extremely ambitious programme to plant 10 billion trees in next three years as their contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.

INDIA:

He said India was the only country in the world, which sponsored Islamophobia.

“The one country in the world today where, I am sad to say, the state sponsors Islamophobia, is India.” Dwelling at length about India’s extremist ideology, Imran Khan said it was being ruled by the RSS whose founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy.

PM desires to take other parliamentary parties along in legislative business
“While the Nazis’ hate was directed at the Jews, the RSS directs it towards the Muslims and to a lesser extent towards the Christians,” he added.

The RSS, he said, believed that India was exclusively for Hindus while the rest of its citizens were not equal citizens. “The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra by subjugating, even cleansing India’s 200 million Muslims and other minorities.”

He recalled that in 1992, the RSS destroyed Babri Mosque; in 2002, some 2,000 Muslims were slaughtered in Gujarat, under the watch of Chief Minister Modi; and in 2007, over 50 Muslims were burnt alive by the RSS arsonists aboard the Samjhota Express Train.
In Assam, Imran Khan said, around two million Muslims faced the prospects of being arbitrarily stripped of their nationality through the adoption of discriminatory laws. He mentioned reports of large concentration camps being filled with by the Indian Muslim citizens.

He said the Muslims were falsely blamed, vilified and victimized for spreading the coronavirus. They were denied medical attention on many occasions, their businesses were boycotted.

“THE HINDUTVA IDEOLOGY IS SET TO MARGINALIZE ALMOST 300 MILLION HUMAN BEINGS – MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS AND SIKHS”

“Cow vigilantes attack and kill Muslims with impunity. Last February, Muslims faced targeted killings, with police complicity in New Delhi,” he added.

The prime minister said mass registrations in the past had often been a precursor to genocide, and cited the examples of the Nuremburg Laws in Germany in 1935 and then in 1982 in Myanmar.

“The Hindutva ideology is set to marginalize almost 300 million human beings – Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.”

“This is unprecedented in history and does not augur well for the future of India as we all know that marginalization of human beings leads to their radicalization,” Imran Khan warned.

PALESTINE:
The prime minister said as Palestine remained a ‘festering wound’, a just and lasting settlement was indispensable, for the Middle East and actually the world.

“Illegal annexations of Palestinian territory, the building of illegal settlements and the imposition of inhuman living conditions on the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, cannot bring peace to a troubled region,” he added.

“ILLEGAL ANNEXATIONS OF PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, BUILDING OF ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS AND IMPOSITION OF INHUMAN LIVING CONDITIONS ON THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, CANNOT BRING PEACE TO A TROUBLED REGION”

Imran Khan said, “Pakistan continues to support a two-state solution – in line with UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, within the internationally agreed parameters, and they are; pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a united, contiguous and independent Palestinian state.”

AFGHANISTAN:
The prime minister said Pakistan’s desire for peace in their region was also manifested in their efforts to promote a political solution in Afghanistan.

“I have consistently maintained over the past two decades that there is no military solution to the decades-old conflict in Afghanistan. The only way forward was and is a political settlement, which involves the full spectrum of Afghanistan’s political actors,” he added.

He mentioned Pakistan’s full facilitation to the process that culminated in the US-Taliban Peace Agreement on February 29, 2020. “Pakistan is deeply gratified that it has fulfilled its part of the responsibility,” he added.

He said the Afghan leaders must now seize the historic opportunity to achieve reconciliation and restore peace in their war-torn country.

The prime minister said through the Intra-Afghan Negotiations that commenced on September 12, they must work out an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

He, however, maintained that the process must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, and without any interference or outside influence.

Imran Khan said early return of the Afghan refugees must be a part of the political solution. “After almost two decades of war, it is imperative not to allow “spoilers” – within and outside Afghanistan – to subvert the peace process,” he added.

He was confident that peace and stability in Afghanistan would open new opportunities for development and regional connectivity.

The prime minister said the United Nations remained the best legitimate avenue for collective action – managing international conflicts, fostering peace and security, promoting equitable development, and addressing global problems.

He urged the Secretary-General to take the lead in preventing global conflicts, and convene summit-level meetings to address regional hotspots and resolve the outstanding disputes.

“The United Nations should be made fully responsive to the challenges of our times. A comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, is essential to promote greater democracy, accountability, transparency and efficiency,” he added.

The prime minister assured that Pakistan would continue to participate actively in the process and endeavour, with other member states, to build a world where conflict was outlawed and equitable prosperity for all pursued in conditions of peace and security.

Imran Khan congratulated Volkan Bozkir on his election as the President of the 75th Session of the General Assembly.

“We also appreciate the skilful leadership of the outgoing President, His Excellency Tijani Muhammad-Bande, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

The prime minister also commended the leadership of Secretary General in the extremely turbulent times.

MONEY LAUNDERING:

Imran Khan referred to his address to the General Assembly last year, in which he highlighted the tremendous damage that illicit financial flows from developing countries to rich countries and to offshore tax havens cause.

“This leads to the impoverishment of the developing nations. Money that could be used towards human development is siphoned off by corrupt elites. The loss of foreign exchange causes currency depreciation that in turn leads to inflation and poverty,” he added.

The prime minister said the quest for getting back those stolen resources was nearly impossible, given the cumbersome procedures.

“Moreover, the powerful money launderers have access to the best lawyers. And sadly, because they are the beneficiaries, there is a lack of political will in the rich countries to curb this criminal activity”, he added.

The prime minister said if that phenomena was unaddressed, it would continue to accentuate the inequality between the rich and the poor nations, and eventually would spark off a far bigger global crisis than the present migration issue posed.

“The rich states cannot hold forth on human rights and justice when they provide sanctuary to money launderers and their looted wealth,” he remarked.

The prime minister referred to the existing robust anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regimes, and called upon the UN General Assembly to take the lead in efforts to build a global framework to stem the illicit financial flows and ensure speedy repatriation of stolen wealth.

“It is important to realize that the aid that flows from rich countries to the developing world is miniscule compared to the massive out-flows by our corrupt elites,” he stressed.

COVID-19:

The prime minister said the COVID-19 pandemic had illustrated the oneness of humanity and in their interconnected world no one was safe unless everyone was safe.

He said locking down to control the pandemic had triggered the worst recession since the Great Recession in the last century. “This has hit the poorest countries the hardest as well as the poor in all the countries,” he added.

In Pakistan, Imran Khan said, they realized very early on that if they imposed a strict lockdown like that of several affluent countries, they would have more people dying of hunger than the virus.

“Therefore, we adopted a policy of ‘smart lockdown.’ While concentrating on the virus hot-spots we opened up our agricultural sector immediately and then followed it up by the construction sector, which employed most of the people,” he added.

The prime minister said at the same time, and it was despite financial constraints, that his government deployed an unprecedented US$ 8 billion for health services; plus supported the poorest and most vulnerable households with direct cash payments through the Ehsaas Programme; and then subsidies to small businesses.

“Even though our ‘smart lockdown’ was heavily criticized in the beginning, but thanks to Almighty Allah’s Grace, we have not only managed to control the virus, stabilize our economy, but most importantly, we have been able to protect the poorest segment of the society from the worst fallout of the lockdown,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said today Pakistan’s response was cited among the success stories in controlling and responding to the pandemic.

“However, we are still not out of the woods, like no country is out of the woods today,” he added.

DEBT RELIEF FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES:

The prime minister said it was obvious from the outset that the developing countries would need a fiscal space to respond to, and recover from, the COVID crisis.

“Debt relief is one of the best ways to create that fiscal space for developing countries. Therefore, in early April, I called for a ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’,” he stressed. Imran Khan appreciated the G-20’s official debt suspension initiative, and the emergency and rapid financing offered by the IMF (International Monetary Fund), World Bank, Asian Development Bank and UN agencies.

“This, however, is not going to be enough,” he said, adding the IMF had estimated that the developing countries would need over US$ 2.5 trillion to respond and recover from the crisis.

The prime minister said the official debt suspension would need to be extended and expanded. “Additional debt relief measures will also be needed. The development banks should ensure adequate financial inflows,” he added.

He said the rich countries had generated over 10 trillion dollars to finance their own response and recovery. “They should support the creation of at least US$500 billion in new Special Drawing Rights for the developing world,“ he added.

PEACE AND STABILITY:

The prime minister said since his government assumed office, their consistent effort had been to fundamentally transform Pakistan.

“We envisage ‘Naya Pakistan’ to be modeled on the principles of the State of Madina, established by our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). A just and humane society where all government policies are directed at lifting our citizens out of poverty and creating a just and equitable dispensation,” he maintained.

Imran Khan, however, stressed that to achieve that goal, they needed to have peace and stability. “Thus our foreign policy aims to have peace with our neighbours and settle disputes through dialogue,” he added.

He said the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations was an extremely important milestone, as that was the only body in the world that could help them achieve their goals of peace and stability in their neighbourhood.

“This is also a time for us to reflect whether as the United Nations we have been able to realize the promise we collectively made to our peoples,” he added.

The prime minister said, “Today, the foundations of ‘world order’ – non-use of or threat of unilateral force, self-determination of peoples, the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, international cooperation – all these ideals are being systematically eroded.”

He said, “International agreements are being flouted and set aside. Renewed great-power rivalries are leading to a new arms race. Conflicts are proliferating and intensifying. Military occupation and illegal annexations are suppressing the right of human beings to self-determination.”

The prime minister quoted the respected Professor Noam Chomsky as saying that “mankind is at even a greater risk than it was before the 1st and 2nd World Wars in the last century”. It was because of the increased threat of nuclear war, climate change, and sadly the rise of authoritarian regimes.

“We must come together to prevent such a catastrophe,” he maintained.
Imran Khan said Pakistan believed that the driving force in international relations must be cooperation, in accordance with principles of international law, and not confrontation and force.

“We all must emphatically reaffirm our support for multilateralism,” he added.

CLIMATE CHANGE:

Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the threat posed to mankind due to climate change, mentioning the unprecedented fires in Australia, Siberia, California and Brazil; unprecedented flooding in various parts of the world; and record temperatures even in the Arctic Circle.

“This should make us all worried for our future generations,” he said and added that commitments made through the Paris Agreement must be fulfilled, in particular the commitment to mobilize US$ 100 billion annually as climate finance.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s contribution to carbon emissions was minimal, but it was one of those countries most affected by climate change.

“Yet, we have decided to take the lead as we consider addressing climate change a universal responsibility”, he said and mentioned that Pakistan had launched an extremely ambitious programme to plant 10 billion trees in next three years as their contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.

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