Opp preparing to oust Imran when he needs complete support

As he equated Kashmir struggle to Jihad, no justification for anyone not to back him

LAHORE - Almost all friends and foes, except PPP Chairman Bilawal and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, lavished praise on Prime Minister Imran Khan for his 45-minute address to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday.

Atrocities being committed on the Kashmiris after the Aug 5 illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir; money laundering by corrupt people of the poor countries and facilitation of the contemptible practice by rich states; Islamophobia and climate change were the main points he covered at length.

Although Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Gen Ziaul Haq, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif also made impressive speeches in the UN during their respective tenures, Imran Khan carried the day and would be remembered for long for articulating the above subjects, which are very important for Muslims and others.

The speech will certainly impact the ruling PTI’s political future. If the situation took a turn for the better for the beleaguered Kashmiris, Imran Khan’s vote bank will go up and he will reap political benefits at the time of elections. But if for any reasons no follow-up action was taken by the world community in the light of Imran Khan’s suggestions or it did not bring the desired results, opposition parties would try to exploit the situation at every available opportunity.

PM articulated four most important points before UNGA

Already, the JUI-F has stepped up efforts to oust the PTI government through lockdown of Islamabad, possibly in the last week of October. It has sought cooperation from the PML-N and the PPP to swell the crowds. However, both these parties want the Maulana to delay the action for some time.

The PPP and PML-N leaders held consultations on the subject Tuesday and plan to meet the JUI-F chief to persuade him to hold an all-party conference for a broader consensus among opposition parties.

Although Maulana Fazlur Rehman is determined to stage the show even without support from any other party, his actual strategy would be clear only after the PPP-PML-N leaders meet him.

But, apparently, it would be very strange if the opposition parties decided to go ahead with their plans to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, who calls himself ambassador for Kashmiris and is determined to do all he can to get them their legitimate rights. On his return to Pakistan after the week-long US visit, he equated the struggle for Kashmiris’ rights to a “Jihad” (holy war) - which leaves no justification for anyone not to support it.

The national interest demands that opposition parties should not create any problem for the PTI government at this crucial stage and join hands with him for the sake of Kashmiris’ rights. Political leg pulling or any divisive move would only benefit the enemy. When the nation is not united for the liberation of what is regarded as country’s jugular vein, not much international support can be expected.

There are no two opinions about the way the prime minister explained the explosive situation in Occupied Kashmir and the sufferings of the people under about two-month long curfew.

He pointed out that 900,000 security forces have been deployed for eight million people of occupied Kashmir under curfew.

He regretted that despite countless sacrifices made by the Kashmiris during the past many decades “the world hasn’t done anything”.

The premier also exposed the real face of the extremist RSS, the power behind the ruling BJP. “They believe in the ethnic cleansing of Muslims”.

In his reckoning Kashmiris would not accept the status quo and the situation would worsen once the curfew is lifted. He predicted that there would be a bloodbath and two nuclear countries will come face to face.

This warning should urge the world to play its role in averting such a situation.

“Before we head there the UN has a responsibility. When a nuclear country fights till the end it has consequences far beyond the borders”.

The cricketer-turned-politician said: “This is a test of the UN. You are the one who guaranteed the Kashmiris the right (of self-determination).

This is the time not to appease but to take action.

Another issue the prime minister spoke about was illicit financial flows. “Every year billions of dollars leave the poorer countries and go towards rich countries, siphoned off by the ruling elites of the western world.” This is devastating the developing world. It is impoverishing them. The rich-poor gap is growing because of them.”

It was an attempt to shake the conscience of the rich countries that have bled the poor countries white.

Giving the example of Pakistan, he said: “Our country was plundered by the ruling elite. And when we locate properties in western capitals bought by this money through corruption and money laundering by these corrupt leaders, we find it so difficult to retrieve it.”

“But it is so difficult [owing to] the laws protecting these criminals. We do not have the sort of money to have expensive lawyers and spend millions and millions of dollars. We need help from the rich countries.

“Corrupt elites must not be allowed to park their money (abroad). Why do we have these tax havens?

The prime minister’s explanation of Islamophobia and climate change was also equally impressive and convincing.