PM will raise voice for people of Kashmir at UN, says Lodhi - GulfToday

PM will raise voice for people of Kashmir at UN, says Lodhi


Imran Khan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in New York onboard the special aircraft of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman with “mission Kashmir” in focus.

Imran, who was in Riyadh to meet the Saudi authorities before leaving for the US, was stopped by the Saudi Crown Prince from using a commercial flight to travel.

“You are our special guest and you would be going to the US on my special aircraft,” Muhammad Bin Salman told the Pakistani premier.

Imran was received by Pakistan’s Permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan Ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan and other officials in New York.

According to Lodhi, Imran on arrival has launched his “mission Kashmir for Pakistan” to try and draw the world’s attention towards Kashmir.

This is Imran Khan’s first General Assembly visit and “he will be the voice of the Kashmiri people at the UN,” Lodhi said.

Imran is staying at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel, which is partially owned by the PIA.

This’s where most Pakistani leaders stayed till September 2008, when then president Asif Ali Zardari and then prime minister Nawaz Sharif abandoned it for grander hotels like Waldorf Astoria, which cost at least 20 times more than the Roosevelt, media reported.

As part of his “Mission Kashmir” to draw global attention on the issue, Imran has urged the Kashmir Study Group to highlight the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which he said “poses a grave threat to regional peace and security.”

Imran met the founder of Kashmir Study Group, Farooq Kathwari, who called on him in New York and both discussed the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the PM Naeem ul Haq, Lodhi, Khan and other senior officials were also present.

Imran urged Kathwari to outline the issue of India’s revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which Pakistan has termed as illegal annexation, and the human rights violations there, in order to expose the real face of Modi-led Hindu nationalist government in front of the world.” Kathwari had earlier served as member of the US President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans.

Kathwari highlighted the Kashmir Study Group’s earlier engagement on the Jammu and Kashmir issue and efforts for conflict resolution.

Imran arrived in New York during the weekend, which gives him the time to consult Pakistani diplomats and prominent members of the Pakistani-American community before meeting world leaders.

On Monday, his first informal engagement is breakfast with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Imran’s first official engagement at the UN is with the Chinese representative, and on Monday, Imran will meet Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan.

At around 1:00am (Pakistan time) on Monday, Imran will meet US President Donald Trump, which could be the first of the two meetings the two are expected to have during the UN session.

Trump is scheduled to address a joint rally with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Houston, Texas, , hours before he meets the Imran .

Trump and Modi are expected to have a separate meeting before or after the rally, focusing on India-Pakistan relations.

Most world leaders will be in New York on Monday, to participate in the general debate, which begins on Tuesday.

Both Pakistani and Indian prime ministers are scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on Sept.27. Modi will speak first, on Friday morning, while Imran will speak later in the afternoon.

Imran has already announced that he will highlight the Kashmir issue in his address.

Trump’s recent comments on the Kashmir dispute have triggered speculations about an indirect dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours during the UNGA, with Washington playing the role of a facilitator.

Trump’s expected meetings with both Indian and Pakistani prime ministers, before and during the UNGA, have enhanced the possibility that he may use this occasion to discuss the situation in Kashmir.

Indo-Asian News Service

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