Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday while addressing to UNGA 74th session in New York that some of the issues in the world which need to be resolved on an urgency basis.
The premier began his speech by saying he feels honoured to represent Pakistan at the world forum.
He said he would not have come to the UN if he did not feel that some “urgent issues” needed to be addressed.
The first issue addressed by Prime Minister Imran was climate change. “First of all, I start with climate change. So many leaders spoke about climate change but I feel there is a lack of seriousness (to tackle the issue).
“Perhaps some of the leaders who can do a lot do not realise the seriousness of the situation. There are a lot of ideas but they are nothing without funding.”
He noted that Pakistan is in the top ten list of countries who are most affected by climate change.
“We depend on our rivers and 80 per cent of our water comes from glaciers. The glaciers are also in India in the Himalayas, Karakorum and the Hindu Kush.
“If nothing is done, we are scared humans are facing a huge catastrophe.
“In my country where I came into power in KP, we planted one billion trees and plan to plant 10bn to counter global warming effects.
“One country cannot do anything, it has to be a combined effort of the world.”
Prime Minister Imran said the second issue he was speaking about is even more critical — that of illicit financial flows.
“Every year billions of dollars leave the poorer countries and go towards rich countries, siphoned off by the ruling elites of the western world”.
“This is devastating the developing world. It is impoverishing them. The rich-poor gap is growing because of them”.He regretted that the seriousness with which money from drugs or terror financing is treated is not accorded to money laundered from poor countries.
“How will we help [our] 200 million people when we are just using all of our money for debt servicing? We could spend the money lost on our human beings.
“We do not have the money to spend millions on lawyers. We need help from the rich countries; they must show political will.“ How can poor countries spend money on human development?
“Unless the rich countries intend to build walls to stop economic refugees from coming in, there must be a deterrent.
“Corrupt elites must not be allowed to park their money (abroad). Why do we have these tax havens?“ Why shouldn’t rich people pay taxes? Why are they legal, these secret accounts?
“Sooner or later there will be a crisis if the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer.
“I hope the UN takes a lead on this. The IMF and ADB must find the way.”
Addressing the prevalence of Islamophobia, Prime Minister Imran said it has grown at an alarming pace.
“Islamophobia is started after 9/11 and some European leaders brought the radical Islam term, however, there is only one Islam taught by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Islamophobia is causing the division of the world.”
“Islam was linked with suicide attacks in past but history told us the Japanese had made the suicide attacks in world war.”
“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’.
The fourth issue which the prime minister talked about in detail was the oppression of the people of occupied Kashmir.
“When we came to power, we swore that we would try to bring peace.“ We went to fight the war on terror and we faced losses of (thousands of people).
“I opposed the war because in the 1980s we joined the struggle against the Soviets funded by western countries.
“The mujahideen were trained by the Pakistan Army and they waged the freedom struggle. The soviets called them terrorists and we called them freedom fighters.
“In 1989 soviets retreated; the Americans packed up and left. Here we had indoctrinated them in jihad against foreign occupation and now that th US had taken over, we were supposed to tell them it’s no longer jihad.
“And so the US turned against us and it was a nightmare.“ Taliban were in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda was there; what did Pakistan have to do with it?
“When we came to power we decided we would dismantle what was left. I know India keeps alleging that these groups are there.
“I welcome UN observers, see for yourself.“ We now have a relationship with Afghanistan, Russia and then we wanted to mend fences with India.
“I have friends in India and i love going to India. So when my party came to power, we reached out to India and (said) let’s resolve differences through trade.
“Modi said there were terrorist attacks from Pakistan. We said well we have attacks in Balochistan from your end.
“Unfortunately we didn’t make any head way. Our foreign minister was at the UNGA but they cancelled the meeting.
“Meanwhile a 20-year-old Kashmiri boy blew himself up at the Indian convoy. And India blamed us.“We told him (Modi) if you have an iota of proof send it. They bombed us (instead), and we retaliated.
“Modi’s entire campaign hinged on how he had killed ten trees of ours. He used words like ‘this is just a trailer and the movie has yet to begun.’
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27 September, 2019