UNGA: Imran Khan Pleaded The Case Of Kashmiris. Modi Didn’t Even Mention The K Word
Imran Khan and Narendra Modi, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today.
As expected the speech of Narendra Modi was short. It had the flavour of a Golden Age 3000-year old history and the wisdom it supposedly gave to the people of India. No problem, everyone has a right to hold an opinion and surely pluralism is a strong element in the ethos of the subcontinent. He spoke about his government’s developmental inputs claiming fantastic achievements. The third thing was about the campaign against plastic use in everyday life. Briefly he took up India’s leadership against international terrorism and warned against being off guard about it. He did not name Pakistan or about the Kashmir issue.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) September 27, 2019
Imran Khan began on a great note by also beginning with climate change and what he said was all good and sympathetic. The second point about money laundering was also very important and the truth is that the west, or some of its countries at least, are safe havens for the ill-begotten wealth of third elites. Imran Khan’s pleas against such immoral standards of the West were very well articulated.
His long lecture on Islam was indicative of the way he feels about it and I do not need to comment on that. If he can now convince the Muslim world not to resort to violence he would be doing a lot of good to them and to the whole world.
Marginalization of any community leads to radicalization. Every society has radicals & moderates. No religion in itself is “radical”. Alas no leader especially no Muslim leader tried to reason “Radical Islam” narrative in this manner.#ImranKhanVoiceOfKashmir pic.twitter.com/W96VWKh5M9
— PTI (@PTIofficial) September 27, 2019
The final punch or bottomline was about Kashmir. His views about the RSS are verifiable by reading what its founders have been saying. He was not far from the truth but the RSS through the BJP has at times gone for peace as well.
IK should remember that Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee who was was also an RSS product came to Pakistan in February 1999 seeking peace, went to the Minar-e-Pakistan and declared that he and his comrades now accept the creation of Pakistan and want to live in peace. Who sabotaged that peace move? We all know.
I think he should have confined his criticism of the Modi Government’s abrogation of Article 370 and 35A to its controversial nature and the hardships the Kashmiri people are going through because of the Curfew.
It has been 1 month, 22 days, 12 hours and 2 minutes since Kashmir has been held under siege. The most threatening question is what will happen once this curfew is lifted? Things were certainly not become “normal”. There’ll be a bloodbath. #ImranKhanVoiceOfKashmir pic.twitter.com/8JT51OPmap
— PTI (@PTIofficial) September 27, 2019
His warnings about 1.3 billion Muslims reacting to the harsh policies of the Modi Government and Pakistan resorting to the use of its nuclear weapons in case India is winning a land war was unnecessary. I think he went overboard.
I am not threatening here about nuclear war; it is a worry. It is a test for the United Nations. You are the one who gave Kashmir right to self-determination.
– Prime Minister Imran Khan#ImranKhanVoiceOfKashmir #UNGA #UNGA74 #PMIKInUSA pic.twitter.com/Xr8fUqOh7K
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) September 27, 2019
On the whole, I don’t think this will set alarm bells ringing in the world capitals.
On the other hand, the Modi Government must do something to demonstrate that it is not holding the Kashmir Valley only through the Barrel of the Gun. It must take concrete steps to ease the controls and let normal life function again.
Since it has radically upturned the status quo in Kashmir it is first and foremost its duty to show that Kashmiris are being won over.
The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University; and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He has written a number of books and won many awards, he can be reached on [email protected]