FIRST MINISTER Imran Khan's World Diplomacy Week at the UN General Assembly has illustrated his "star calling," his strong commitment to the security of Pakistan and the welfare of his people and a desire for justice and peace between nations and within them.
Unlike the Pakistani leaders of the last decade, whose presence at the UNGA was notorious and even less influential, Imran Khan was warmly recognized in every event he attended in New York and sought by the leaders of the UN member states , international organizations, global corporations and the mainstream media.
Despite his focus on the Kashmir situation, the prime minister's incursion on the world stage has also highlighted Pakistan's external challenges at each point of the compass: in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iran and the Gulf. He also revealed the important role that Pakistan, under a charismatic leader, can play in world affairs.
Read: Prime Minister Imran does not lose words at the UN, calls the Modi government for the oppression of cashmere
The main and perennial challenge emanates from the east. India's unilateral and brutal attempt to annex occupied Jammu and Kashmir is what led the prime minister to the UN. His highly anticipated speech to the UNGA was passionate, eloquent and substantive, vigorously projecting the real nature of the BJP-RSS government, the serious human rights violations he is perpetrating in Kashmir and the danger of a potentially catastrophic war between two nuclear weapons. weapon states
The long-awaited Prime Minister's address to the UN General Assembly was passionate, eloquent and substantive.
Although the conscience of global human rights defenders seems to be overshadowed by the profits promised in the great Indian market, and most of the world's foreign ministries have not yet publicly recognized the imminent threat of genocide and war between Pakistan and India, most states are worried and want a peaceful solution to the crisis created by the actions of India.
The Security Council meeting on August 16 was a significant affirmation of its responsibility to address the Kashmir dispute and a refutation of India's claim that it is an internal matter. Statements in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 50 countries, the European Union, several UN special rapporteurs and human rights groups are another example of international concern.
In the UNGA, important states such as China, Turkey and Malaysia have so far openly called for a resolution of the Kashmir dispute based on Security Council resolutions. And, despite its strategic partnership with India, the US Department of State. UU. He issued a statement, following Prime Minister Khan's meeting with President Donald Trump, calling for an immediate lifting of the curfew and restrictions in occupied Kashmir.
What happens next depends largely on the realities of the terrain. When India raises the curfew, or even if it is not, Kashmiris are likely to increase their unified resistance against the annexation and unilateral repression of India. As the prime minister assumed, India will blame Pakistan for this revolt, which will lead to another confrontation between Pakistan and India. The international community will be forced to address the crisis or allow a catastrophe.
It will be the task of the diplomacy of Pakistan, in the current session of the UNGA and in the main capitals, to continue exerting pressure on India to: lift the repression in Kashmir, prevent it from resorting to mass repression and genocide and accept a resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with Security Council resolutions.
While Kashmir was the central focus, Prime Minister Khan also raised three other vital issues in his speech: climate change, which represents an existential threat to all mankind; money laundering, which is further impoverishing developing countries; and Islamophobia, which justifies discrimination and oppression of Muslim people, communities and nations and is the main cause of radicalization and extremism.
To substantiate its objectives, Pakistan's diplomacy must present effective proposals for the action of the international community. Thus, for example, the Security Council could be asked to adopt a binding resolution, in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which obliges States to implement the provisions of the Paris Agreements (on climate change) .
On money laundering, an additional protocol to the Convention against Corruption can be proposed, incorporating articles on the return of the product of corruption. And in Islamophobia, Pakistan, with the OIC countries, can revive the proposal for an international convention that prohibits discrimination against Muslims and defamation of Islam, its Prophet (PBUH), its practices and sanctuaries.
During Imran Khan's visit to the UN, Pakistan’s diplomatic relevance was affirmed on two other critical issues. In his interactions with President Trump, he urged the prompt resumption of talks between the Taliban in the United States and Afghanistan and the conclusion of the agreements already negotiated on the withdrawal of foreign troops and anti-terrorism. This will open the way for intra-Afghan talks and steps to reduce, if not the end, of violence in Afghanistan, goals that Pakistan has actively promoted. Hopefully, the Afghan presidential elections (September 28) that the Taliban oppose will not interrupt the peace process.
Significantly, as Prime Minister Khan mentioned, both President Trump and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman asked him to help defuse his growing confrontation with Iran. The prime minister initiated a mediation effort in his meeting with President Hassan Rouhani.
A de-escalation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the steps to normalize their relations, are of national interest to Pakistan for multiple reasons. This mediation effort must be carried out actively and boldly by delineating a feasible path to: reduce tensions, deny the use of force and external intervention, promote political solutions to conflicts in Yemen and Syria, reconciliation Shia-Sunni in Iraq and stability in Lebanon. At the appropriate time, a regional peace conference with the participation of the GCC, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan could be a useful modality to advance these goals.
In the person of a brave, honest and dedicated leader, Pakistan has been offered a historic opportunity to address its many external challenges, play a constructive role in resolving regional disputes and promote critical global goals. Success will depend crucially on the skill and diligence of Pakistan's foreign ministry and its security agencies. The government must provide moral and material support without limits to continue fulfilling its role and responsibility.
The writer is a former Pakistani ambassador to the UN.
Posted on Dawn, September 29, 2019