World, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan wants peace with India but Kashmir remains key, Premier Kakar tells UN General Assembly

Anwaarul Haq Kakar says Pakistan desires peaceful and productive relations with all neighbors

Islamuddin Sajid  | 22.09.2023 - Update : 23.09.2023
Pakistan wants peace with India but Kashmir remains key, Premier Kakar tells UN General Assembly Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar ( Credit by UN )


Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Friday said that his country wants peace with all neighbors, including India, but Kashmir remains "key to peace" with New Delhi.

In his address to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Kakar said Pakistan desires peaceful and productive relations with all neighbors.

“The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest issues on the agenda of the Security Council (and) India has evaded implementation of the Security Council's resolutions, which call for the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir to be decided by its people through UN-supervised plebiscite," he said.

Recalling the Indian government’s unilateral actions in August 2019, he said New Delhi deployed 900,000 troops in the "illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir" to impose a solution on Kashmiris.

"To this end, India has imposed extended lockdowns and curfews, jailed all genuine Kashmiri leaders, violently suppressed peaceful protests, and resorted to extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake encounters," he said.

He added that Indian authorities even did not allow a team from the UN High Commission for Human Rights to visit Kashmir.

He urged the UN Security Council to implement its resolution on Kashmir.

Kakar also condemned the cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistan by the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), Daesh/ISIS, and other terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan.

“We have sought Kabul’s support and cooperation to prevent these attacks. However, we're also taking necessary measures to end this terrorism,” he said.

Growing Islamophobia

While talking about Islamophobia, Kakar said that it's an age-old phenomenon, however, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it has assumed epidemic proportions, as manifested in the negative profiling of Muslims and attacks on Islamic sites and symbols, such as the recent public burnings of the Holy Quran.

He welcomed the legislation initiated by Denmark and contemplated by Sweden and said Pakistan and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries will propose further steps to combat Islamophobia, including the appointment of a special envoy, creation of an Islamophobia data center, and legal assistance to victims and an accountability process to punish Islamophobic crimes.

The premier also welcomed the progress made towards ending the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

"In particular, we warmly welcome the normalization of relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran," said the Pakistani premier.

Kakar also spoke on the Palestine issue and said this tragedy of Palestine is continuing with Israeli military raids, airstrikes, expansion of settlements, and evictions of Palestinians.

"Durable peace can be established only through a two-state solution and the establishment of a viable and contiguous Palestinian State within the pre-June 1967 borders, with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital," he added.

Climate change

Talking about climate change and its impacts on his country, Kakar said that his country is one of the worst affected countries by the impacts of climate change.

"The epic floods of last summer submerged a third of our country, killed 1,700 and displaced over 8 million people, destroyed vital infrastructure, and caused over $30 billion in damage to Pakistan’s economy."

He called on the international community to fulfill its climate change commitments made at COP28 to provide over $100 billion in annual climate finance and said the commitment of over $10.5 billion made in the Geneva Conference with Pakistan last January should be fulfilled.

Countering terrorism

The Pakistani premier said they must counter all terrorists without discrimination, including the rising threat posed by far-right extremist and fascist groups, such as Hindutva-inspired extremists threatening genocide against India’s Muslims and Christians.

"We also need to oppose ‘state terrorism’; address the root causes of terrorism, such as poverty, injustice, and foreign occupation; and distinguish genuine freedom struggles from terrorism,” he said.

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