A fighter all the way, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UNGA session was a superb display of courage and conviction. He was calm and composed, but authoritative in style which in words plain and simple was powerful enough to awaken the world to grim realities of modern day problems. Whether it really would, remains to be seen. The Pakistani prime minister has done his job. It is for the collective will of the institutions’ Security Council and its 5 permanent members to rise and search for solutions.
Outside the UN General Assembly, in just two meetings with Donald Trump, he was mandate by the American President to renegotiate peace with Taliban and also start probing peace prospects with Iran. This is a victory for Imran’s stature and he is now clearly in the mould of a Statesman. Third lengthiest discourse in the 74 years history of world forum, its tone and tenor reflected the will of a nation, poor and afflicted with far too many malaise at the same time, but ready to fight it out till the last drop of the blood.
Pakistan, just two years junior in age to a platform of 193 member States, had innumerable leaders talk from the same podium but none could match the all-encompassing, comprehensive and argumentative content which the cricketer-turned politician relied upon. Just to refresh memory, Pakistan could produce before 27th September, 2019, merely two statesmen worth the name— Husseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, and to some extent Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The comparison, if at all it could be categorized as such, Suhrawardy was far too tall in status and caliber, while the latter was often emotional, and aggressive, which sometime proved costly for the country. Imran spoke in a measured tone, the delivery was smooth and cohesive, and for most part of it highly convincing. His four-point principle agenda was timely and well-programmed. These related to correcting the misconception about Islam and radicalism, highly unjustified, perhaps deliberately generated and concocted relationship between Islam and terrorism, a misconception, which the Pakistani premier tried to erase from the Westerner’s mind that Islam could not be divided or categorized, for the noble religion of Islam was only one acceptable to the Ummah, and in totality ought to be recognized by the world.
None of the Muslim leaders before him, had the will to set the records right. His focus in 50-minute address also was a message for Western and the developed world to curb the menace of money laundering, earned illicitly by leaders of poor countries, or drug mafia who find Europe, some Arabian capitals, etc to dump that money and fatten their banks deposits. The West cried foul against drug triangle of Pakistan, Thailand, and Iran (at one time), but maintained indiscreet silence at enrichment of their financial institutions from the same money laundering issue, collected through drug or corrupt practices by politicians in the so-called Third World.
It had become almost a headache now to recover the money from these richer counties, stuffing their banks of these illicit deposits. Their deliberate inattention to demand for return of the poor countries wealth to back home, is indeed suffocating. Pakistan is one of them, way back in 80s, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos 7 ton gold bars were returned to Manila but none of these countries are ready to return the loot and plunder from Pakistan of predecessors to PTI regime.
Fabulous amount of moveable and immoveable property, bank deposits, including 60 million US dollars, shifted earlier from Swiss Banks to unknown destinations, remains uncovered.
Those involved in this dirty business, facing trials at home, or enjoying life abroad because of inherent weaknesses in administrative or judicial systems of the country. Their trial in accountability courts are victim of inordinate delays. Justice, therefore, in most cases have been found wanting. Poor Pakistanis are the worst victim of this tragic episode, for if the wealth is recovered, and property bought from ill-gotten money is recovered, treasury of the country will automatically be enriched, and then there will be no need of IMF or begging bowl.
Nearly half the time he consumed at UN podium, Imran dwelt on annexation of Kashmir by Nirender Modi but warned of bloodbath if curfew is lifted in Kashmir, Kashmiris are brave people, love their independence and freedom like Afghans which only this week celebrated its 100th year of independence. They are bound to rise in rebellion sooner or later, and the moment that happens, India will be in turmoil. Modi has signed his death warrant, and should be ready to face the consequences, which are bound to be much grimmer than is being thought. Imran’s speech one of the finest in last 5 or six decades at least in UN General Assembly, and prediction about Imran rising to the level, caliber and status or a genuine statesman, is no longer a dream. It has almost come true.