PM’s bold UNGA address

FOR the first time in decades a Pakistani leader, in his address to the UN General Assembly, spoke the language of people of Pakistan and conveyed their true aspirations to a galaxy of world leadership in an unambiguous and bold manner. Speech of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, delivered in wee hours of Friday, not only contained points that had been agitating the minds of people back home but also the international community and he spoke with clarity on issues like world’s double standard on the menace of terrorism, ground realities in Afghanistan, plight of people of Occupied Kashmir and the role that the world body needed to play in addressing the serious challenges to peace and security of the globe.
Unfortunately, Abbasi was unduly criticised both by the Opposition for petty party interests and some of his own colleagues for his remarks about setting our own house in order but the way he defended cause of the nation and convincingly put across country’s narrative on terrorism would go a long way in crystallising the issue. The Prime Minister identified two flaws in the global counter-terror strategy. One of this, he remarked, was State-sponsored terrorism and the failure of the UN to reign in States that use this as an instrument of their foreign policy, an obvious reference to countries like India, Israel and Myanmar that are perpetrating unprecedented brutalities on Kashmiris, Palestinians and Rohingya Muslims. Second, the PM continued, was the need to identify the root causes of terror. He said that it was vital that the world understand that terrorism stems not from poverty or ignorance, but the failure to address legitimate political grievances of marginalised groups all over the world. This is a stark reminder to world and regional powers that the menace would remain there until and unless they adopt a realistic approach and make efforts for resolution of lingering disputes like Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine. The South Asian Strategy of President Donald Trump is of fundamental concern to the country these days and the Prime Minister comprehensively dealt with it by explaining Pakistan’s viewpoint on its different aspects. He countered allegations of those who are questioning Pakistan’s sincerity in fighting terror that the country has lost 27,000 precious lives and 50,000 injuries in counter terrorism campaign – more than combined sacrifices of the entire world. He countered the allegation by pointing out that guns, drugs and refugees have been forced into Pakistan through the border ever since the war in Afghanistan began and therefore, it was but natural for Pakistan to see an end to the conflict in the neighbouring country as it is threatening Pakistan’s security, stability and prospects for economic development. As the US is opting for increase in troops in Afghanistan to depend more on use of force, he told the audience that the use of military force was not a solution to the war, but rather multilateral talks to find a solution to the conflict would be a step in the right direction towards lasting peace in the region. Abbasi also exposed Indian atrocities against Kashmiris demanding nothing but their right to self-determination and urged the UN Secretary General to appoint a special representative on Kashmir. This demand is justified and in line with the past practices when the UN appointed such representatives to deal with special circumstances especially issues threatening regional and global peace and security. Separately, during his bilateral meeting with the UN Secretary General, the Prime Minister reminded the UN of its responsibilities towards protection of rights of Kashmiris and its role in resolution of the longstanding dispute. India has been hurling naked threats of limited war against Pakistan and the Prime Minister, in his UN speech, cautioned the international community that Pakistan would respond in kind if New Delhi embarked upon any misadventure. Abbasi’s marvellous performance during UN visit and eloquent defence of the country is a serious snub to those who tried to find fault with his dress, as it is not just suited-booted personality but performance that matters and he excelled in the art of communicating rights things in right manner.

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