Prime Minister Imran Khan has reached the United States to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, during which he is slated to meet several heads of states and governments, and attend various summits.
He left for New York from Saudi Arabia on Friday. He was received by Pakistan’s UN ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, US envoy and other senior officials.
The prime minister will lead the Pakistan delegation during the high-level week of the session from September 21 to 27, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
He will deliver his address to the UNGA on September 27. Khan will share Pakistan’s perspective on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, its current human rights situation and related dimensions.
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives Saturday morning on Mission Kashmir to a packed program at #UNGA74 He will be the voice of the Kashmiri people at the UN. In addition to his GA address he will also speak at Asia Society &Council on Foreign Relations pic.twitter.com/rqYAunBpTy
— Maleeha Lodhi (@LodhiMaleeha) September 21, 2019
Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, took to Twitter to announce that PM Khan will be coming to New York Saturday morning on “Mission Kashmir”. She said the UNGA will be a packed programme and that the premier will also speak on foreign relations at the Asia Society & Council.
The premier will avail the opportunity to articulate Pakistan’s stance on some key contemporary issues, the statement read. Overall, the centrality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be emphasised through myriad engagements.
New Delhi controversially revoked on August 5 the autonomous status of the part of Jammu and Kashmir it controls. Hours before its move, it curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing hundreds of thousands of troops in the occupied Himalayan territory.
The two nuclear-armed neighbours have since been locked into a war of words, with tensions heightening at the border. Split between India and Pakistan since 1947, Kashmir has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the two arch-rivals.
The Pakistan premier will hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from various regions and participate in high-level UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for development.
Khan will also attend and speak at high-level side events co-hosted by Pakistan and Turkey on countering hate speech, and on environmental protection and poverty alleviation, co-hosted by Malaysia and Pakistan. A trilateral summit meeting of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey will also be held on the sidelines.
Apart from these engagements, the statement read further, the prime minister will interact with a cross-section of international media outlets including meetings with editorial boards. He is also expected to speak at leading think-tanks and hold meetings with heads of major international human rights organisations during the visit.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also attend the UNGA session. He will interact with his counterparts from various countries and address important ministerial meetings, especially the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir.
Earlier, PM Khan left Saudi Arabia upon completion of a two-day tour of the kingdom. During his visit, Khan called on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and apprised him of the current situation in India-administered Kashmir, the ongoing lockdown and communication blackout and a humanitarian crisis originating from these restrictions.
The two figures also discussed bilateral relations and affairs of mutual interest at the meeting held Thursday.