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Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Policy of ‘Showing Concern’: Imran Khan in Saudi Arabia to lobby for Kashmir

Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reiterated their resolve to deepen their multifaceted relations, and vowed to extend support to the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination. The Saudi leadership expressed concern for the oppressed people of Kashmir

Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declared their resolve to deepen and enrich their historic relationship as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s two-day official visit came to an end on Friday. The Premier is now heading to the United States, where he will attend the UN General Assembly session, alongside engaging with world leaders from the 21st to 27th September.

During his visit to the kingdom, the Premier held separate meetings with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Makkah. Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities in Khurais and Abqaiq and assured the Saudi leadership of Pakistan’s support against any force that threatens Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity and security.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, and Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh amongst other senior officials.

Humanitarian Crisis in Kashmir

The Premier highlighted the rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and elaborated on the risks of India’s unilateral and unlawful actions that threaten to disturb peace and security in the region.

Prime Minister Khan called for an immediate end to the unprecedented curfew imposed across the valley, and an immediate resolution of the longstanding Kashmir issue as per the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

The Premier is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on 27th September, and share Pakistan’s stance on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Indian-occupied Kashmir

A press release issued by the PM’s Office stated in this regard, “Noting that the indefensible lockdown of over 8 million Kashmiris had continued for 46 days, the Prime Minister stressed the imperative of urgent lifting of the curfew and restrictions, respect for the rights and freedoms of the Kashmiris, and resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions.”

The Premier also emphasized the role of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in lending support to the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination. The leadership of Saudi Arabia also expressed their concern over the ongoing situation in the disputed Himalayan valley and reiterated its support and solidarity with the Kashmiri struggle for freedom.

Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to continue working towards security, peace and peaceful political resolution of disputes.

“Real Brotherhood”

Prime Minister Imran Khan received a warm welcome, and the Saudi leadership observed that the relationship between the Kingdom and Pakistan was based on “real brotherhood.”

The Prime Minister’s Office stated, “The two sides underlined the deep and multi-faceted quality of the relationship and reaffirmed the resolve to enrich it further in myriad dimensions.”

Recalling the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Pakistan in February, Prime Minister Imran Khan noted that it revived bilateral relations between the two countries with strong momentum. The two countries reiterated their dedication to enhancing bilateral trade, people-to-people contact, and investment opportunities.

Read more: Imran Khan in Saudia: Lobbying Support for Kashmir amidst Saudi Security Concerns

The Premier also expressed his gratitude for Pakistan’s inclusion to the Road to Makkah project and expressed hope that it will be extended to other major cities across the country.

Saudi Arabia is one of the founding members of the OIC Contact Group to address the dispute of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. This year, the two nations have set up the Saudi-Pak Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC), co-chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The next session of the SPSCC is scheduled to be held in February 2020.

This marked Prime Minister Khan’s fourth visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the last 13 months. Earlier in May, the Premier had visited the Kingdom to attend the 14th session of the OIC Islamic Summit.

Premier Performs Umrah

Prime Minister Imran Khan performed Umrah along with his wife Bushra Bibi and senior ministers. The two prayed for the stability and prosperity of Pakistan.

The door of the Holy Kaa’ba was opened specially for the premier, and he enjoyed the rare opportunity of entering the holy sanctuary. Later, the Premier left for Madina, and the Governor of Jeddah, Prince Mashaal bin Majid Al Saud came to see him off at the airport.

The Premier, accompanied by his wife, visited the Roza-e-Rasool (SAW), where he performed his prayers at the Masjid e Nabvi.

UN General Assembly Session

The Premier is headed to New York to attend a week-long session of the UN General Assembly, where he will lead the Pakistani delegation and highlight the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Kashmir.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also be attending the General Assembly session, alongside interacting with the foreign ministers of different countries and taking part in crucial ministerial meetings, particularly the session of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir.

The Premier is expected to engage in multiple bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers and heads of states from various countries and regions. He will also take part in the UN summits on climate change, financing development, sustainable development, and universal health coverage.

Read more: Spotlight on Kashmir: Imran Khan’s Engagements with US President Donald Trump

He will also be attending and addressing events co-hosted by Pakistan and Turkey focused on countering hate speech, alongside a session on environmental protection and poverty eradication, co-hosted by Pakistan and Malaysia.

Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey will also hold a trilateral summit meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly session. The Premier will speak to several international media outlets, alongside meetings with editorial boards. He will also have engagements with the US think tanks and meetings with heads of leading right organizations.

The Premier is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on 27th September, and share Pakistan’s stance on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Indian-occupied Kashmir, alongside raising other contemporary issues.