Imran Khan addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on Friday. AFP
Tariq Butt / AgenciesPoliticians, journalists and people from other walks of life hailed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Friday speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The highlight of his 45-minute long address was Kashmir. He reminded the world that India’s actions in the occupied valley could lead to a bloodbath.
“PM Imran spoke from the heart for Kashmiris on the floor of the highest global forum,” said Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Masood Khan.
“Now it is the responsibility of the world community to come forward and settle the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of Kashmiris.”
During his "Mission Kashmir” visit to New York, the prime minister addressed the 193-member UNGA, attended UN summit meetings, met a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the session, including United States President Donald Trump, addressed think-tanks and interacted with international media.
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan has lifted Pakistan’s international stature in just a few months. His struggle for the people of Kashmir is bound to be successful.”
In a statement, Interior Minister Ejaz Shah appreciated PM for effectively projecting the Kashmir cause at international level. He expressed the hope that efforts made for the resolution of Kashmir issue would bear fruit.
Kashmiri activist Mushaal Mullick thanked the prime minister for expressing “true, real sentiments” of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
The parliamentary leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) in AJK Legislative Assembly Abdul Majid Khan said Kashmiris were indebted to the prime minister for highlighting the Kashmir cause at UNGA.
“It is the first time Kashmiris have seen a leader from Pakistan, who spoke openly for the rights of Kashmiris. The speech was a real representation of the oppressed people of the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Prominent Kashmiri leader and President of the Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement (JKSM) Altaf Ahmad Bhat said the prime minister exposed India’s state terrorism and its nefarious designs in IOK.
Opposition leader in the AJK Assembly Chaudhry Muhammad Yaseen said Imran reminded the world of their responsibility to bring peace and security to the region. “Every Kashmiri and Pakistani is jubilant at the speech of the prime minister.”
Salman Masood, a Pakistan correspondent for The New York Times, termed the speech “impassioned.”
Journalist Zarrar Khuhro also praised the premier for shining “on the international stage.”
“Brilliant speech by our PM,” tweeted cricketer Sana Mir.
Prominent Pakistani-American journalist Shaheen Sehbai also lauded Imran’s speech, saying the premier had “jumped several levels up in international stature with his UN blowout.”
Journalist Owais Tohid termed the speech “bold” and “convincing.”
“I believe PM @ImranKhanPTI speech on Kashmir was bold, convincing reflecting his conviction for Kashmir cause.”
Secretary-General of Pakistan Awami Tehrik Khurram Nawaz Gandapur reiterated PM Imran’s words and urged the UN to take immediate notice of the situation in Kashmir.
“The World should be on notice. When KASHMIR burns, two Nuclear Powers come to the brink of war. The UNGA will be responsible for any escalation which takes the World to a point of no return.”
While Foreign Policy Analyst Sameera Khan said, “It’s really pathetic how some PAK liberals will endorse the Indian narrative on Kashmir just to shit on IK.”
Earlier, a plane carrying Imran and his entourage returned to New York after developing a technical fault while heading to Pakistan.
The prime minister had taken off from New York's Kennedy International Airport in a special jet placed at his disposal by the Saudi government, but it flew back in a couple of hours to have the problem fixed.
Pakistan's Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, who had earlier seen off Imran Khan, rushed back to the airport to be on hand.
The prime minister, who led the Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, waited at the airport for some time while technicians tried to fix the fault, but more work was needed and they decided to complete it in a few hours.
Lodhi escorted the prime minister back to the Roosevelt Hotel where he was staying during his hectic seven-day trip.
Officials said if the plane is not fixed, the prime minister would take a commercial flight back to Pakistan where he is anxious to visit earthquake-hit areas and visit the affected families.
PTI leader Naeemul Haque also confirmed the technical fault and announced that the prime minister would be spending the night back at the hotel in New York.
The premier's message came as the curfew and communications blackout imposed by New Delhi in Kashmir entered its 12th day. Aug.15 is also India's Independence Day, which is being observed as a black day across Pakistan to protest the brutalities in Kashmir.
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The flag-hoisting ceremony was also held at the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day. The ceremony was held in a manner keeping in view the local laws on social gatherings due to COVID-19.