Pakistan PM wants UN peacekeeping force sent to Kashmir
NEW YORK – The Indian delegate at the United Nations General Assembly session on Friday walked out in protest when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan began attacking India in his speech at the high-level meeting.
First Secretary Mijito Vinito, who was sitting on the second seat in the first row of the Assembly chamber, stood up and left as soon as Khan turned on India by focusing on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Khan’s pre-recorded speech was screened at the General Assembly chamber during the annual meeting stymied this year by the Covid-19 precautions.
Imran assailed RSS-backed BJP government and its moves to cement control of Muslim-majority Kashmir, calling India a state sponsor of hatred and prejudice against Islam.
He said that Islamophobia rules India and threatens the nearly 200 million Muslims who live there.
“They believe that India is exclusive to Hindus and others are not equal citizens.”
Khan also declared a thinly veiled support for the attacks on India by the militants. “The government and the people of Pakistan are committed to standing by and supporting the Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” he said.
To preemptively deny the involvement in any Pakistan-sponsored attacks on India, Khan said, “We have consistently sensitised the world community about a false flag operation.”
Khan alleged, “India is playing a dangerous game of upping the ante against Pakistan in a nuclearised environment.”
Meanwhile, India’s permanent representative to the UN T.S. Tirumurti decried Khan’s attacks as “warmongering and obfuscation”.
In a tweet, he said, “PM of Pakistan’s statement a new diplomatic low at 75th UN General Assembly. Another litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, warmongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities and of its cross-border terrorism. Befitting Right of Reply awaits.”
Nearly half of Khan’s 34-minute speech, which ran over the allotted 15 minutes, was devoted to his attacks on India.
He asserted that India is giving up on the secularism of Mahatma Gandhi and is moving towards a “Hindutva” state. “The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra,” he asserted.
Khan, however, declared his commitment to a theocratic state. “We envisage Naya Pakistan to be modelled on the principles of the state of Madinah, established by the Holy Prophet Muhammed,” he declared.
Khan was silent on the persecution of the Uighur minority in China and Beijing’s verified creation of camps for internment of the Muslim minority and campaign to eradicate their cultural and religious identity. But he claimed that according to “reports”, there were camps in India filled with Muslims.
Accusing India of changing the demography of Kashmir and suppressing its cultural identity, he requested the Security Council to intervene with a UN force in the valley.
In a subtly worded sentence slipped into his speech, Khan introduced the new tactic, saying, “The Security Council must prevent a disaster conflict (in Kashmir) and secure the implementation of its own resolutions, as it did in the case of East Timor.”
In the East Timor model, the Security Council authorised an international force under Australia to keep order there in the aftermath of Indonesia’s invasion to enforce the Council’s resolutions and help create a transitional administration to ensure the independence of Timor in 1999 and oversee the elections. The next year, UN peacekeepers took over from the international force in what is now Timor-Leste.
Again in 2006, the UN sent in peacekeepers to restore order after a failed coup and widespread unrest.
How it would apply to Pakistan would not be what Khan imagines.
The prime Security Council resolution — No. 47 passed in 1948 — demands that Pakistan first withdraw its troops and citizens from Kashmir.
The plebiscite that Jawaharlal Nehru had initially agreed to could not be held because Pakistan would not comply with the pre-condition set in that resolution.
Subsequently, India held elections in Kashmir, which New Delhi says affirmed its accession to India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the General Assembly in prerecorded remarks on Saturday.
(with inputs from IANS)