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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

UNGA address: Kakar says world must counter ‘Hindutva inspired extremists’

Cites such a group is threatening genocide against India’s Muslims and Christians alike

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has stressed the need for countering all terrorists, including ‘Hindutva inspired extremists’ that have been threatening genocide against India’s Muslims and Christians.

“We must counter all terrorists without discrimination including the rising threat posed by far-right extremist and fascist groups such as Hindutva-inspired extremists, threatening genocide against India’s Muslims and Christians alike,” he said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

Anwaarul Haq Kakar, who was sworn in as the interim prime minister on August 14 to see the country through to an election due in the final week of January 2024, is the first caretaker prime minister from Pakistan to address the top world body.

His comments were made in view of reports of violence against minorities in India. Many people have blamed Indian PM Narendra Modi’s BJP for such incidents.

Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy told Al Jazeera earlier this month that the state of India was very precarious and very contested. “We have a situation in which the constitution has been effectively set aside.”

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron knew what was going on in India but wouldn’t talk, Roy said as she spoke about the world leaders gathering in India for the G20 summit.

“We also need to oppose state terrorism, address the root cause of terrorism, such as poverty and foreign occupation, and distinguish genuine freedom struggles, from terrorism,” said Kakar

He hoped for the creation of the committee of the General Assembly to oversee the balanced implementation of all four pillars of global counter-terrorism strategy.

‘Kashmir is key to peace between Pakistan and India’

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has said that Kashmir was the key to peace between Pakistan and India, as he called for peaceful and productive relations with all neighbours including the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbour.

“The Jammu and Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest issues on the agenda of the Security Council,” he said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. “India has evaded implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions which call for the final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir to be decided by its people through UN supervised plebiscite.”

Kakar mentioned the August 5, 2019 decision of the Narendra Modi-led government to scrap occupied Kashmir of its special status enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

Since August 5, the caretaker PM said India has deployed 900,000 troops in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to impose the final solution for the disputed region.

To his end, he said: “India has imposed extended lockdowns and curfews, jailed all genuine Kashmiri leaders, violently suppressed peaceful protests, resorted to extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake encounters, and so-called cordon and search operations and imposed collective punishments, destroying entire villages.”

He mentioned that access to occupied Kashmir demanded by the UN High Commission for Human Rights and over a dozen special rapporteurs has been denied by New Delhi.

He demanded that the UNDC must secure the implementation of its resolution on Kashmir. The UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan should be reinforced. “Global powers should convince New Delhi to accept Pakistan’s offer of mutual restraint on strategic and conventional weapons.”

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Afghanistan

Kakar highlighted that peace in Afghanistan was a strategic imperative for Pakistan, but the country also shared the concern of the international community with respect to Afghanistan particularly the rights of women and girls.

“Yet we advocate continued humanitarian assistance to a destitute Afghan population in which Afghan girls and women are the most vulnerable as well as the revival of the Afghan economy and implementation of the connectivity projects with Central Asia.”

He mentioned that Pakistan’s first priority was to prevent and counter all terrorism from and within Afghanistan.

“We have sought Kabul’s support and cooperation to prevent cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistan. However, we are also taking necessary measures to end this externally encouraged terrorism.”

He lamented that the tragedy of Palestine continues despite the normalization of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran. “With Israeli military raids, airstrikes, expansion of settlements, and eviction of Palestinians, durable peace can be established only through a two-state solution and the establishment of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state within the pre-June 1967 borders with Al-Qudsal Sharfi as its capital.”

Islamohphobia

He called for celebrating diversity and different ways of life as the premier highlighted Islamophobia.

Kakar welcomed the legislation initiated by Denmark and contemplated by Sweden towards dissent. Pakistan and OIC countries would propose further steps to combat Islamophobia including the appointment of a special envoy, creation of a Islamophobia data centre, legal assistance to victim and accountability process to Islamophobic crimes, he added.

Multilateralism

The interim prime minister stressed the need for having effective multilateralism to address the complex global and regional challenges.

“Multilateralism is eschewed due to unilateral policies of and strategic rivalries between global powers,” he lamented.

He highlighted that that additional permanent members of the UN Security Council would further erode its credibility and legitimacy

“The widest possible agreement can be achieved on the basis of uniting for the consensus groups’ proposal for the expansion of the council only in the non-permanent category with provision for a limited number of long term seats.”

‘World cannot afford Cold War 2.0’

Kakar expressed concerns over the escalating tensions between the global powers.

“The world cannot afford Cold War 2.0. There are far greater challenges confronting human kind which demand global cooperation and collective action the world’s economic prospects also appear gloomy,” he said.

He went on to add that Covid-19, conflict, and climate change have devastated the economics of many developing countries. “Many countries of the global south have barely managed to stave off defaults.”

‘Fulfillment of climate change commitments’

Pakistan was looking forward to the fulfillment of climate change commitments made at COP28 by the developed world to provide over $100 billion in annual climate finance, the interim PM said.

He urged the leading economies to allocate at least half of such finance for adaptation in developing countries.

Kakar was of the view that attempts to selectively provide such funds on the basis of geopolitical considerations should be resisted.

“I hope our development partners will accord priority to allocation of funds for our resilient economy plan which has been cost at $13 billion,” he said.

He mentioned that the Pakistani government was committed to rapid economic recovery.

“We will stabilise our foreign exchange reserves in our currency, expand domestic revenues, and most importantly mobilize significant and external investment,” he said and spoke about the Special Investment Facilitation Council, which has been formed to expedite investment decisions.

As many as 28 projects have been identified in priority sectors, agriculture, mining, energy, and IT for the implementation in collaboration with Pakistan’s partners, he said.

He added that the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has been initiated, covering railway, infrastructure, and manufacturing projects. “Pakistan also looks forward to the early implantation of connectivity projects with Central Asia.”

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