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27th September Prime Minister’s speech

All eyes are set on 27 September 2019, when Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is scheduled to address the 74th session of UN General Assembly in New York. Prime Minister has raised the hopes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, by telling them that he is their ambassador. Hopes have been further incremented when he advised those who wanted to cross the cease fire line, that, “they should wait till he returns from the UN General Assembly”.
Prime Minister of Pakistan was right in telling President Donald Trump, that if he mediates on Kashmir, he will earn the ‘Dua’ of millions of men and women. Same would be true for Prime Minister himself, if he succeeds to discharge his duties accepted under UNCIP Resolutions, duties accepted as Chairman AJ & K Council, duties as a member nation of UN and duties as a party to the Kashmir dispute. Now he has volunteered to be the ambassador of Kashmir as well. So many hats, carry a higher burden of responsibility.
How Prime Minister Imran Khan would make any difference this time, is a moot point to be examined? The 73rd session of General Assembly was addressed by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on 29 September 2018. In his 2859 words speech there were 9 paragraphs on Kashmir and in total Kashmir was referred 10 times. These references were very mild and the statement did not make any substantive demands from the UN General Assembly. It did not flag with full force the UN Human Rights Report on any specific issue. No reference was made, how India had turned Kashmir into worlds highly militarised zone.
Prime Minister of Pakistan has 15 minutes (or more) time limit and the statement would be around 2859 words. We do not know, how much space has been allocated to the Indian aggression, occupation and imprisonment of a people known to UN for the last 72 years and waiting for a UN supervised referendum. Would it be a speech out of the ordinary, exceptional and able to turn a new page in the struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, for “Rights and Dignity” and “Security and Self-Determination”, or it would again turn into a routine statement and be lamented as another missed opportunity?
We wish that Prime Minister sets a new bench mark in statesmanship and keeps to the jurisprudence of Kashmir case. Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir has set out the EMOTIONAL CONTOURS of his case at the Islamabad Conference. Prime Minister of Pakistan has 15 minutes to punctuate EMOTIONAL CONTOURS with JURIDICAL CONTENT as available under UNCIP and UN Security Council Resolutions.
Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir to my knowledge did not consult anyone of those in Azad Kashmir, no one from 2.5 million Refugees living in the four provinces of Pakistan or in the Diaspora who could have assisted him to add to the EMOTIONAL CONTOURS of his speech and made it substantive and more perfect, for a response from the Foreign Minister. Azad Kashmir Government has not put its own house in order and is misdirecting itself by promoting a ‘political tourism’ as diplomacy. This is not the place to flag the failings of Azad Kashmir Government. However, it is clueless.
Foreign Minister has said at the National Parliamentarians Conference that he was working with Prime Minister of Pakistan on the speech for 27th September that Prime Minister would deliver at the UN General Assembly. There is no evidence that Foreign Ministry (Foreign Office) has approached the Government of Azad Kashmir and asked it to identify Kashmiris who could assist the Prime Minister of Pakistan to perfect his Statement and make it any better than the ones that were delivered at the UN GA in the past.
Azad Kashmir Government has a constitutional duty assumed under UNCIP Resolutions to make a robust reference to the Government of Pakistan and ask it about the contents of the paras on Kashmir in PM Pakistan’s UN GA Speech. These things could be sought in confidence.
Foreign Minister of Pakistan has represented Kashmir situation at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Benazir Bhutto has also represented Kashmir at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Begum Nusrat Bhutto has represented Kashmir at the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed the Indian delegation.
Foreign Minister has said at the Islamabad Conference on 18 September 2019 that 58 countries supported the people of Kashmir at the HRC. In view of this support we could have easily got hold of 16 countries and made a demand for a “Special Session” on Kashmir and 24 countries were sufficient to bring a “RESOLUTION” against India at the 42nd session of HRC. We could have forced a Panel Discussion as well. It did not happen. I wish to restrain my comments to this singular observation at this stage and remain positive about the upcoming appearance of Prime Minister of Pakistan at the UN General Assembly.
I do not dispute the arithmetic of support claimed by Foreign Minister. It is a disappointment that Foreign Office would float such an arithmetic of support and yet fail to grab the opportunity of securing a “Special Session” on Kashmir and of bringing a “RESOLUTION” against India. I was at the 42nd session of HRC in Geneva and had meetings with three Chiefs at the United Nations and ICRC. I met with Chief, Universal Periodic Review Brach (UPR), Chief Asia Pacific (OHCHR) and Chief Asia and Pacific (ICRC). Discussions at this level are always issue based and confidential.
We had in-depth discussion on the Indian aggression, occupation and imprisonment of the people of the disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir. JKCHR is in special consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC and it has not been consulted for any input either by the Government of Azad Kashmir or the Government of Pakistan into Prime Ministers speech. Both Governments remain fully aware that the Secretary General of UN has received three statements from JKCHR and these have been released as UN General Assembly documents 137, 138 and 140 on the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir. A non-interest goes to prove that, we have yet to give up the old ways of beating the old track and copy pasting.
We hope that Prime Minister of Pakistan emerges a triumphant ambassador of the people of Kashmir imprisoned from 5 August 2019. There are sinister rumours making rounds on the Indian action. Government of Pakistan has to address them with a sense of urgency and assuage the doubts. A reference to Kashmiris is unavoidable and has merit.



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