The US defeat in Afghanistan, and control of Taliban over Kabul are the recent developments that have caught the world’s attention. Pakistan, being the neighbouring country of Afghanistan, remains the most concerned about the future of this war-torn country as it will have direct impact on itself. To convey Pakistan’s concerns to the international community, Prime Minister Imran Khan has most effectively delivered his speech at UNGA Session 2021 in which the Prime Minister forcefully highlighted Afghanistan’s predicament and its solutions.
The Prime Minister explained that the country that suffered the most, apart from Afghanistan, was Pakistan, when we joined the US War on Terror after 9/11. 80,000 Pakistanis died along with $150 billion dollars loss to Pakistan’s economy with 3.5 million internally displaced Pakistanis. The Prime Minister further said that “From this platform, I want them all to know, the country that suffered the most, apart from Afghanistan, was Pakistan when we joined the US war on terror after 9/11.” Moreover, PM Imran Khan exposed the hypocrisy of the US while explaining the historical facts when the US was supporting the Mujahideen. “For the current situation in Afghanistan, for some reason, Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe,” Khan said.
While talking about the way forward, the Prime Minister stated that there are two paths that we can take. If we neglect Afghanistan right now, according to the UN half the people of Afghanistan are already vulnerable, and by next year almost 90% of the people in Afghanistan will go below the poverty line. There is a huge humanitarian crisis looming ahead. A destabilized, chaotic Afghanistan will again become a safe haven for international terrorists – the reason why the US came to Afghanistan in the first place. Therefore, there is only one way to go. We must strengthen and stabilize the current government, for the sake of the people of Afghanistan.
PM Imran Khan also covered the issues such as India’s fascist policies against Indian Muslims & the people of IIOJK, climate change and Covid-19. The Prime Minister in the commencement of his speech discussed the challenges of Covid-19. He stated that world is facing the triple challenges of Covid-19, the accompanying economic crisis, and the threats posed by climate change. Climate change is one of the primary existential threats that the planet faces today. Pakistan’s contribution to global emissions is negligible. Yet Pakistan is among the 10 most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change in the world. Being fully aware of the global responsibilities, Pakistan has embarked upon game changing environmental programmes: reforesting Pakistan through our 10 billion tree tsunami; preserving natural habitats; switching to renewable energy; removing pollution from our cities; and adapting to the impacts of climate change. It is pertinent to mention that Prime Minister Imran Khan has discussed the financial “haven” destinations of stolen assets of the developing world. This organized theft and illegal transfer of assets has profound consequences for the developing nations. He stated that he fears a few “wealthy islands” in the sea of poverty will also turn into a global calamity, like climate change. He asked the General Assembly to take steps meaningfully to address this deeply disturbing, and morally repugnant, situation. And at a minimum, the recommendations of Secretary General’s FACTI panel should be fully implemented.
Moreover, Islamophobia is another pernicious phenomenon that all need to collectively combat. In the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks, terrorism has been associated with Islam by some quarters. This has increased the tendency of right-wing, xenophobic and violent nationalists, extremists and terrorist groups to target Muslims. In addition, he talked about the worst and most pervasive form of Islamophobia that rules India. The hate filled ‘Hindutva’ ideology, propagated by the fascist RSS-BJP regime, has unleashed a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million strong Muslim community. New Delhi has also embarked on what it ominously calls the “final solution” for the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of the Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, an advocacy group, expressed his “heartfelt thanks” to Prime Minister Imran Khan for reaffirming Pakistan’s support to the Kashmir cause, saying that PM Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly had given “hope and strength” to millions of the disputed state’s people and that “His speech at the United Nations was the true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.”