Pakistan’s prime minister talks Kashmir, floods at UN

United Nations – Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif called for a peaceful end to the dispute over Kashmir and voiced instability in the region, citing perennial themes in Pakistan’s speeches at the United Nations after spending half a year with the United Nations. at the beginning of Friday’s speech to the devastation of recent floods.

The devastation caused by the floods, which Sharif described in the Bible, he said, means that Pakistan has a responsibility to “ensure rapid economic growth and lift millions out of poverty”.

But to do so, Sharif said, Pakistan needs a “stable external environment” – that is, peace in South Asia, which he says is pivotal to resolving the decades-old dispute over Jammu and Kashmir.

“At the heart of this protracted dispute is the denial of the Kashmiri right to self-determination,” said Sharif, outlining what he called India’s “relentless campaign of repression” and “mass brutality” to the Kashmiri people.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and has been claimed by both since their independence from the British Empire 75 years ago.

Sharif accused India of having its own colonial ambitions by trying to change the demographics of Kashmir from a Muslim majority to a Hindu majority. While he described Islamophobia as “a global phenomenon”, he specifically accused India’s Hindu nationalist government of engaging in “the worst manifestation of Islamophobia”.

India – which has said Kashmir is an internal matter and one of law and order – is scheduled to speak at the General Assembly on Saturday. Human rights groups have accused Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party of look the other way and sometimes trigger hate speech against Muslims. Modi’s party denies the allegations, but Muslims in India say attacks against them and their faith have spiked.

Sharif also spoke extensively about regional instability and terrorism – of which he called Pakistan “the main victim”.

He presented a stark contrast to his flashy but conservative predecessor, Imran Khan, who spent much of his speech last year accusing the United States of being a victim of Pakistan. Khan has overthrown in April after a vote of no confidence.

Dressed in an elegant business suit instead of Khan’s favored men’s vest and t-shirt combination, Sharif never once mentioned America.

He is short-tempered, sometimes forcefully tapping on a drum or clapping his fists in protest, but his words take on a less belligerent tone.

“Pakistan is a partner for peace,” said Sharif before departing from prepared remarks: “But Mr. President, peace can only be guaranteed and guaranteed when the rights of communities who suffered many disadvantages and subjugation for decades gained freedom and respect. “

Sharif’s speech also represents a departure from last year, when Khan expressed optimism about budding Taliban rule in Afghanistan and called on the General Assembly not to isolate the new government. A year later, no member state of the United Nations recognized the Taliban government.

“Pakistan also wants to see an Afghanistan at peace with itself and the world, respecting and nurturing all of its citizens, regardless of gender, ethnicity and religion,” he said.

Above all, he reiterated the widespread fear of countries that often do not dominate the global discourse: “My real worry is about the next phase of this ordeal, when the cameras will leave. or walk away from this big conference and the story only turns to a conflict phase like Ukraine,” he said of overcoming floods. “My question is, are we left alone, tall and dry?”

For more information on the AP about the UN General Assembly, visit

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