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Pakistan PM Imran Khan stresses cooperation, multilateralism in UNGA address

Says military occupations, illegal annexations are suppressing humans

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 25, 2020 | Last Updated: 12 months ago
Posted: Sep 25, 2020 | Last Updated: 12 months ago

Photo: Samaa TV screengrab

Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed on Friday the need for cooperation and multilateralism for making the world a better place. He was addressing the United Nations General Assembly session through a video link.

“We need to have peace and stability,” the premier said. “This is the only body that can help us achieve peace and stability in our neighbourhooods.”

He said this was also time for them to reflect whether, as the united nations, they had been able to realise the promise made to their peoples.

Today, PM Khan said, the foundations of the world order and all the ideals were being “systematically eroded”.

“International agreements are being flouted and set aside, renewed great-power rivalries are leading to a new arms race, conflicts are proliferating and intensifying,” he said.

“Military occupations, illegal annexations are suppressing the right of human beings to self-determination.”

The Pakistan PM pointed to the threats of a nuclear war, climate change and the rise of authoritarian regimes. “We must come together to prevent such a catastrophe,” he said.

“The driving force in international relations must be cooperation….. and not confrontation and force,” PM Khan suggested the world.

“And we all must emphatically reaffirm our support for multilateralism.”

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had illustrated the oneness of humanity in their inter-connected world. No one was safe unless everyone was safe, the premier said.

However, he said, the debt relief by the G20 and emergency assistance by the IMF, World Bank, ADB and UN agencies won’t be enough to overcome the impact of the recession triggered by the pandemic.

“The IMF has estimated the developing countries will need over 2.5 trillion dollars to respond and recover from the crisis,” PM Khan said. “The official debt suspension will need to be extended and expanded, and additional debt relief measures will also be needed.”

He discussed the issue of offshore tax havens that cause impoverishment of the developing countries. The quest to get back these stolen resources was nearly impossible, he regretted.

The Pakistan PM lamented the lack of political will in the rich countries to curb this criminal activity. “If this phenomenon is unaddressed, it will continue to accentuate the inequality between the rich and the poor nations.”

He demanded the UNGA lead efforts to build a global framework to stem the illicit global financial flows and ensure speedy repatriation of stolen wealth.

Discussing Islamophobia, PM Khan regretted that Muslims continue to be targeted with impunity in many countries.

“Our shrines are being destroyed, our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) insulted, the Holy Quran burnt and all this in the name of freedom of speech,” he said.

“We stress that willful provocations and incitement to hate and violence must be universally outlawed.”

The Pakistan PM demanded the UNGA declare an international day to combat Islamophobia and build a coalition to fight the scourge.

He said India is the one country in the world where the state sponsors Islamophobia. The reason behind it is the RSS ideology that rules India today, he said.

PM Khan said the RSS founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and they adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy.

“While the Nazi hate was directed at Jews, the RSS directs it at the Muslims and, to a lesser extent, the Christians,” he said. “The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by a dream of creating a Hindu rashtra by subjugating  and even cleansing India’s 200 million Muslims and other minorities.”

The Pakistan PM highlighted the brutal crimes and discrimination against the Muslims on Narendra Modi’s watch. He underscored India’s occupation of Kashmir and its unilateral steps to change the autonomous status of the occupied territory in August 2019.

“The international community must investigate these grave violations and prosecute the Indian civil and military personnel involved in state terrorism and serious crimes against humanity,” PM Khan said.

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

He noted that India was playing a dangerous game of upping the military ante against Pakistan in a nuclearized environment to divert attention from its illegal actions.

Despite constant provocations, he said, Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint.

“We have consistently sensitized the world community about a false-flag operation and another ill-conceived misadventure by India,” PM Khan said.

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

He clarified that there will be no peace in South Asia until the Kashmir dispute is resolved on the basis of international legitimacy.

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