NEW YORK: Prime Minister Imran Khan spent the second day of his seven-day visit to the United Nations, informing lawmakers, academics, human rights activists and the US media about the impact of the Indian annexation of the disputed valley of Kashmir.
Lawmakers who convened the prime minister on Sunday include the minority leader of the United States Senate, Chuck Schumer, and the president of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham.
Both are among the most important lawmakers in Capitol Hill and enjoy considerable influence in their parties. Senator Schumer, a New York Democrat, is known for his interest in human rights issues and can be very helpful in highlighting rights violations in detained Kashmir.
Senator Graham, a Republican, is among a handful of legislators whom President Donald Trump consults on important issues. Recently, he was sent twice to Pakistan to request Islamabad support for the Afghan peace process.
In Washington's diplomatic circles, Senator Graham is often credited with organizing the visit of Prime Minister Khan in July to the White House that helped improve tense relations between Washington and Islamabad.
Senator Graham was also among the four US senators who wrote a letter to President Trump last week, asking him to take immediate steps to end the deepening of the humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir.
They specifically asked him to exert pressure on the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to lift the curfew imposed on local residents and restore telecommunications services in the disputed territory, among other steps.
He commended Amnesty's report on Kashmir in detention; discuss Afghan conversations with Jalilzad
President Trump has repeatedly offered to help mediate the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, but has been rejected by Modi, who rejects foreign aid to resolve New Delhi's disputes with Islamabad.
The US special envoy for the Afghan peace process, Zalmay Khalilzad, also met with the prime minister.
In Washington's diplomatic circles, it is often recognized that there can never be lasting peace in Afghanistan unless relations between India and Pakistan improve. Apparently, this perception is also linked to President Trump's repeated offer to help reduce tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly over Kashmir.
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The Prime Minister also met with Amnesty International Secretary General Komi Naidoo and discussed with him the grave humanitarian and human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir occupied since the illegal and unilateral actions of India on August 5.
"The Prime Minister thanked the main role that Amnesty is playing in presenting the real state of human rights in the occupied territory and amplifying the voices of the Kashmir population in a seven-week state of confinement," said a statement issued by the Pakistan mission to the United Nations.
These efforts have helped increase the awareness of the international community about the continued suffering of the people of Kashmir.
The Prime Minister praised Amnesty's report on the use of pellet guns by India and its devastating impact on Kashmir's youth.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who also attended the meeting, said the two UN reports on Kashmir served as a solid basis for the continued promotion of civil society in support of the people of Kashmir.
Naidoo informed the prime minister about Amnesty's defense work in Kashmir, including the recently launched "Let-Kashmir-Speak" campaign.
Others on the prime minister's list included David Fenton and George Soros. Fenton is the president and founder of Fenton Communications, which promotes campaigns focused on issues related to the environment, public health and human rights.
Soros is an American investor who still has a net worth of $ 8 billion, although he has donated more than $ 32 billion to his philanthropic agency, Open Society Foundations.
Mr. Khan also held meetings with Kashmir leaders and leaders of the Sikh community in the United States.
Later, the prime minister interviewed several US media networks, explaining Pakistan's concerns about India's actions in Kashmir detained.
He said that if the Kashmir dispute is not resolved, it could cause a nuclear conflict in South Asia, which would have disastrous consequences for everyone.
He called on the help of the international community to deactivate this potentially dangerous situation.
In his meeting with Mr. Khalilzad, Prime Minister Khan said that peace in Afghanistan was vital to the stability and economic development of South Asia throughout the region.
He urged all parties involved in the Afghan dispute to play their part in restoring peace in that war-torn country.
"Condemning the recent increase in violence in Afghanistan, the prime minister said that peace in Afghanistan is vital for advancing his government's vision of a peaceful neighborhood and for economic development and regional stability," said a statement issued by The Pakistan Mission.
"All parties must play their part in strengthening peace and promoting reconciliation as a shared responsibility," the prime minister added.
Ambassador Khalilzad called the prime minister at his hotel in New York and the two also spoke about the joint efforts that
Afghanistan and Pakistan and the United States were doing their best to bring peace to Afghanistan.
Khan thanked Khalilzad's efforts to promote a peaceful political agreement in Afghanistan.
Khan reminded the US envoy that Pakistan always believed there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
"Pakistan, therefore, will continue to support all initiatives to achieve sustainable peace in Afghanistan and expected a speedy resumption of the peace process," Khan said.
Ambassador Khalilzad thanked the Prime Minister for supporting the Afghan peace process, and said he hoped to continue working with Pakistan for stability in Afghanistan.
Posted on Dawn, September 23, 2019