Did Imran Khan Fight Kashmir’s Case Effectively At The UN?
Naya Daur spoke to various experts about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, which has generated mixed reactions in Pakistan.
Dr Nazir Hussain, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad said Prime Minister’s speech reflects elements of independence from western influence as we have observed in the past, adding that our country cannot maintain an independent foreign policy until we are engaged in internal political and security conflicts.
PTI supporters say that it was a balanced speech that is usually expected from a head of the state for a world forum and that the PM covered the entire spectrum of Pakistan’s foreign policy, yet critics think that Imran Khan’s speech didn’t cover many issues facing the world today.
Dr Nazir said that the Prime Minister once again reiterated his stance on the Jammu and Kashmir issue and reminded the international community about the threats the region is exposed due to Indian government atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Further, the International Relations experts said that Palestine is an issue of Ummah, not only of Pakistan but still Islamabad has adopted a balance policy over it. They added that the stance of the Arab world is not unified and many Arab states have made it clear that they will not establish diplomatic ties with Israel until the settlement of the Palestine issue. In this context, Saudi Arabia itself has differences at internal level.
Lieutenant General (retd) Talat Masood, political commentator, while terming the PM’s speech a balanced one from all aspects said that it well exposes India’s malicious design against Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir.
It was a well written and well rehearsed speech which helped PM to deliver Pakistan’s stance well at the world forum, Masood said.
Talat Masood added that it is no hidden secret that Islamabad’s ties with the US are not good due to Beijing factor but Pakistan’s role in the peace process in Afghanistan played an important role to improve their bilateral relations.
He said that America knows well that it cannot ignore Pakistan’s importance in the region, adding that Islamabad has also realized that good relations with the world power is in its interest.
Islamabad doesn’t want a negative impact of its strategic relations with Beijing over its diplomatic relations with Washington, Masood said.
He said America should have realized that its confrontation with China and grown strategic ties with India are neither in its own state interest nor in the interest of the region and world at large. Washington should improve its ties with Beijing, he suggested. He said America’s till towards India is not good for the regional peace and stability.
However, Ahsan Iqbal from PML-N raised many questions when CPEC Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa praised the PM’s address to UNGA. Ahsan Iqbal asked what substantive effort has the PM made in the last 14 months except making two UNGA speeches. “Did he visit a single country on the Kashmir agenda? Did he call an OIC meeting? Why does India continue an unabated curfew and information black out of the valley? Why has India underestimated Pakistan’s threat perception?,” the PMLN leader asked.
According to critics, Ahsan Iqbal’s questions are valid and the incumbent government should also make these areas as part of its policy agenda.
Qaisar Mehmood, a youth representative and student of foreign policy, said Islamabad should escalate its efforts by different means to put itself at a place where it can lead the Muslim world. Mehmood, however, was happy with the PM’s talk on issues such as climate change, Islamophobia, the growing gap between first world and third world countries.
For Amjad Abdullah, an advocate by profession and research scholar of IR, politics is a tough business, with different shades and complexities within the domestic and international politics. He said if the government wants to pursue an independent foreign policy it will have to manage and subdue all domestic challenges and to formulate an effective and proactive foreign policy, which is possible even if we have some political issues at the internal level.