Anwaarul Haq Kakar calls for countering all terrorists without any discrimination n Urges global powers to convince New Delhi to accept Islamabad’s offer of mutual restraint on strategic and conventional weapons n Says Pakistan desires productive relations with India
n Kashmir is the key to peace between Pakistan and India.
NEW YORK - Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar Friday urged the international community to counter all terrorists without any discrimination including Hindutva inspired extremists.
Addressing the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday, he pointed out that the rising threat by the far-right extremist and fascist groups pose genocide threat to Indian Muslims and Christians. The prime minister stressed the need to oppose state terrorism and address its root causes such as poverty, injustice and foreign occupation besides distinguishing genuine freedom struggles from terrorism.
The prime minister also noted that development depends on peace. He said Pakistan is situated in one of the least economically integrated region in the world and it believes that region develops together. He said Pakistan, therefore, desires peaceful and productive relations with all its neighbours, including India.
He pointed out that Kashmir is the key to peace between Pakistan and India. Jammuand Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest issues on the agenda of Security Council. He regretted that India has evaded implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions, which call for final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir to be decided by its people through UN supervised plebiscite. Referring to the Indian atrocities in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir especially ever since 5th August 2019, the prime minister called upon the UN Security Council to ensure the implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir dispute. He suggested the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan be reinforced. He urged the global powers to convince New Delhi to accept Islamabad’s offer of mutual restraint on strategic and conventional weapons.
The prime minister termed peace in Afghanistan a strategic imperative for Pakistan. He said though Pakistan shares the international community’s concerns with respect to Afghanistan, particularly the rights of women and girls. He, however, said Pakistan advocates continued humanitarian assistance to the destitute Afghan population in which Afghan women and girls are the most vulnerable as well as support for revival of the Afghan economy and implementation of connectivity projects with the Central Asia.
The prime minister said Pakistan’s first priority is to prevent and counter all forms of terrorism from and within Afghanistan. He said Pakistan condemns the cross border attacks against Pakistan by the TTP, Daesh and other groups operating from Afghanistan.
He said though Pakistan enjoys Afghan support and cooperation to prevent these attacks, but it is also taking necessary measures to end this externally encouraged terrorism.
Alluding to the phenomenon of Islamophobia, Anwaarul Haq Kakar said it has assumed epidemic proportions after terrorist attacks of 9/11 as manifested in the negative profiling of Muslims and attacks on Islamic sites and symbols such as the recent public burning of Holy Quran.
He recalled that the UN General Assembly last year adopted a resolution proposed by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC declaring 15 March as an International Day to combat Islamophobia.
He said earlier this year the human rights council adopted an OIC resolution submitted by Pakistan urging states to outlaw the burning of the Holy Quran and similar provocations. He said Islamabad welcomes the legislation initiated by Denmark and contemplated by Sweden towards this end.
The prime minister said Pakistan and the OIC countries will propose further steps to combat Islamophobia including the appointment of a Special Envoy, creation of an Islamophobia data centre, legal assistance to victims and an accountability process to punish Islamophobic crimes. Expressing Pakistan’s commitment to rapid economic recovery, the prime minister said his government will stabilise country’s foreign exchange reserves and currency, expand domestic revenues and most importantly mobilize significant domestic and external investment.
To this end, he said Pakistan has established a Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to expedite investment decisions. He said 28 projects have been identified in priority sectors: agriculture, mining, energy and IT for implementation in collaboration with Pakistan’s partners. Anwaarul Haq Kakar said Pakistan’s long-term shift to geo-economics is well underway. He said the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been initiated covering railway, infrastructure, and manufacturing projects.
He said Pakistan also looks forward to the early implementation of the “Connectivity” projects with Central Asia. Anwaarul Haq Kakar said Pakistan’s food, fuel and finance challenge is a prime illustration of the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts and climate on developing countries.
He pointed out that Pakistan is one of the worst affected countries from the impacts of climate change. He recalled the epic floods of last summer submerged a third of the country, killed 1700 and displaced over eight million people, destroyed vital infrastructure and caused over 30 billion dollars in damage to Pakistan’s economy.
He said Pakistan is gratified by the commitments of over 10.5 billion dollars for its comprehensive plan for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction with resilience. He said specific projects are being submitted to ensure timely funding and execution of the plan. He hoped the development partners will accord priority to release funds for its ‘resilient’ recovery Plan which has been costed at 13 billion dollars.
The prime minister said Pakistan also looks forward to the fulfillment of the climate change commitments made at COP28 by the developed world to provide over 100 billion dollars in annual climate finance.
He stressed that attempts to selectively provide these funds on the basis of geo-political considerations should be resisted.
The prime minister said that at the SDG Summit in New York, far-reaching commitments were made to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
He underlined the need to ensure implementation of the ‘SDG Stimulus’; the re- channeling of unused Special Drawing Rights for development; the expansion of concessional lending by the Multilateral Development Banks; and the resolution of the debt problems of the 59 countries in debt distress.
Alluding to the complex global and regional challenges that the world faces today, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar said these can be best addressed through effective multilateralism within the framework of the United Nations. He said Pakistan will continue to work actively to strengthen multilateral institutions and enhance global cooperation.
The prime minister said Pakistan does not believe in elitism within the comity of nations. He said Islamabad believes that adding additional permanent members to the Security Council will further erode its credibility and legitimacy. He said the widest possible agreement can be best achieved on the basis of the Uniting for Consensus Group’s proposal for expansion of the Council only in the non-permanent category with provision for a limited number of longer-term seats.