End lockdown, release detainees in Kashmir: Pak PM

New York, Sep 27: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday called on United Nations to act regarding the lockdown of Kashmir in a speech in which he also covered corruption, climate change and Islamophobia.

Imran began his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by saying he would not have come to the UN if he did not feel that some “urgent issues” needed to be addressed.

 

“What is the world community going to do,” Imran said, asking “is [the world] going to appease a market of 1.2bn or is it going to stand up for justice and humanity”.

Imran warned the issue in Kashmir could escalate in the future, claiming Pakistan would be blamed by India for any future conflict and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not thought through the effects of revoking Kashmir’s special status.

“What will happen when the curfew is lifted? There will be a bloodbath,” he said.

The former cricket star even went as far as talking about a potential conventional war between the two nuclear powers.

“If a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen,” Khan, who talked for 45 minutes, said.

“Supposing a country seven times smaller than its neighbour is faced with the choice ‘either surrender or you fight to the death’,” saying that he would probably “see no option for Pakistan but to fight.”

“It’s not a threat, it’s a fair worry,” he said, calling on the UN to instead intervene.

“Under the guise of ‘Islamic terrorism’ cruelty is being inflicted on the people of Kashmir,” he said adding “there is no other narrative left for India.”

“India must lift this inhuman curfew,” said Imran, further saying that detained persons from the valley should be released by India. 

Imran earlier accused India and PM Narendra Modi of “drumming up hostility” towards Pakistan during the election campaign earlier this year, claiming India “falsely accused” Pakistan of helping armed groups in Kashmir. 

Talking about Indo-Pak relations, Imran stated that he tried his best to initiate talks with India because he (Imran Khan) “believes in good neighborhood.”

“However, response was India was negative,” he said.

He stated that Pakistan does not want acceleration with India and that was the reason that Pakistan handed back one Indian pilot to India who was shot down and captured in Pakistan. 

He stated that even after elections in India, Pakistan tried to normalise relations but Pakistan came to know that India was conspiring to blacklist Pakistan in FATF.

Addressing the prevalance of Islamophobia, Imran said it has grown at an alarming pace.

“Islamophobia is creating divisions, hijab is becoming a weapon; a woman can take off clothes but she can’t put on more clothes.

“It started after 9/11 and it started because certain western leaders equated Islam with terrorism.

He questioned the use of the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ saying: “There is only one Islam.

“What message does this (the term) send? How is a person in New York going to distinguish between moderate Muslims and radical Muslims?

“This radical Islamic terrorism used by leaders has caused Islamophobia and has caused pain for Muslims.

“In European countries it is marginalising Muslims, and this leads to radicalisation.

“Some of the terrorists were from marginalised Muslim communities. We Muslim leaders have not addressed this issue.

“The basis of all religions is compassion and justice which differentiates us from the animal kingdom.

“The Muslim leaders all became moderates and our government coined a phrase ‘enlightened moderation’.

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