Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday. He spoke on four points; climate change, eliminating money laundering & tax heavens, Islamophobia and blasphemy of Prophet (PBUH), and freedom for Kashmir.
PM Khan focused on climate change, its importance and global response to counter it. He urged world leaders to show seriousness in order to cope with the challenge. Similarly, he let the world know that selective morality of the west while dealing with Muslims on the questions of Hijab and blasphemy, causes pain to everyone who loves his faith and desires to practice it. “I want the world to understand that the issue of blasphemy is very sensitive for us like Holocaust is for the Jewish community in the west,” he said.
Interestingly, PM Khan also elaborated to the western world what is academically a neo-Marxist approach that how the ruling elites of the developing countries loot money and find safe havens in the developed world to protect their black money. He urged the Western world to end the double standards and look at ground realities. His speech, which many have termed as well-prepared, explained the law and order situation and greatest humanitarian crisis in India occupied Kashmir (IoK).
The speed of reform is slow and bumpy, and the slew of benefits won’t rain down immediately, but crucially, the direction seems to be right
Moreover, the premier elaborated the complexities of so-called War on Terror (WoT) to his audience. “The mujahideen were trained by the Pakistan Army and they waged the freedom struggle. The Soviets called them terrorists and we and the west called them freedom fighters. In 1989 after the Soviets retreated; the Americans packed up and left. We had indoctrinated them in jihad against foreign occupation, and now that the US had taken over, we were supposed to tell them it’s no longer jihad,” he said.
This background of WoT is generally ignored whenever International media and particularly India-based think tanks attempt to write detailed policy papers for the 90s generation to shape global public opinion of their choice. Khan’s address which carried undeniable facts and detailed historical context is likely according to Pakistani foreign office, opinion makers and analysts, to re-shape public opinion in the post-fact world where India has invested so much to win information warfare.
In a successful visit to the UNGA, the premier met many leaders, appeared on international media and spoke to think tanks and presented the case of Pakistan. He met the founder of Kashmir Study Group, Amnesty International Secretary General Komi Naedo, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Prime Minister UK Boris Johnson , Foreign Minister of China, US President Donald Trump, President of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of World Bank Mr. David Malpass, President of Iran H.E. Hassan Rouhani and President of Ethiopia H.E. Mrs. Sahle. He also appeared on CNN and spoke to Asia Society in an open talk. The premier also spoke at Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit.
This visit and engagement of the Prime Minister with world leaders brought Pakistan into international political discourse after decades. Pakistan emerged as the representative of Muslims being persecuted across the world and deliberate avoidance of the west world.
Three days ago, an article published in The Independent acknowledged the foreign policy success of the Prime Minister and his team. “The message to world leaders is loud and clear: Pakistan is no longer a pawn, a joke, a bystander on the world stage. It is active, engaged, relevant and responsible. This is a dramatic shift from the past, one which may garner greater recognition retrospectively,” writers noted.
In their opinion articles, writers Farrukh Karim Khan and Saba Karim Khan summarized the difficulties and the initial rays of hope sprouting under the current government and PM Imran’s vision. “The speed of reform is slow and bumpy, and the slew of benefits won’t rain down immediately, but crucially, the direction seems to be right,” they write.
PM Khan has been praised by political commentators and analysts for being able to fight for the Kashmiris. Journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi, who is usually cr put forth her take, saying: “The highlight was Kashmir in which he spoke passionately and effectively. Started well on climate change but rambled a little on money laundering and Islamophobia.”
Hot take on PM Imran Khan’s #UNGA2019 speech: The highlight was Kashmir in which he spoke passionately and effectively. Started well on climate change but rambled a little on money laundering and Islamaphobia. Domestic audience will lap it up.
— Amber Rahim Shamsi (@AmberRShamsi) September 27, 2019
Journalist Zarrar Khuhro, praising the premier “for shining on the international stage”, summed it up saying: “It’s been a marathon tour with countless speaking engagements and interviews with pointed Questions. Played well indeed. Even haters are advised to give credit where it is due, and it is due.”
He shines on the international stage, there is no denying that. It's been a marathon tour with countless speaking engagements and interviews with pointed Questions. Played well indeed. Even haters are advised to give credit where it is due, and it is due.
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) September 27, 2019
Furthermore, the Premier’s engagement with Muslim leaders was also a great success. He announced on his Twitter handle that a TV channel was going to be launched by three countries. “President Erdogan, PM Mahatir and myself had a meeting today in which we decided our 3 countries would jointly start an English language channel dedicated to confronting the challenges posed by Islamophobia and setting the record straight on our great religion – Islam.”
President Erdogan, PM Mahatir and myself had a meeting today in which we decided our 3 countries would jointly start an English language channel dedicated to confronting the challenges posed by Islamophobia and setting the record straight on our great religion – Islam.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 25, 2019
According to well-placed sources, the Turkish President is likely to pay a visit to Pakistan at the end of the next month. This is surely going to be the beginning of a new, powerful Pakistan set forth to reclaim its role on the international and Muslim world front.