‘Wilful provocation’ To hate should be universally allowed, PM UNGA Session

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, cautioned against the rising tide of Islamophobia around the world and called upon the United Nations to play its part in combatting religious hatred.
In a virtual address, the prime minister lamented that at a time when the global community should have come together to combat the novel coronavirus, it had instead stoked racism and religious hatred. “Unfortunately, it has instead fanned nationalism, increased global tensions and given rise to racial and religious hatred and violence against vulnerable minorities in several places.
Islamophobia was rising in several countries, he said, adding that Muslims were being “targeted with impunity”, mosques were being desecrated and Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) was being insulted “in the name of freedom of speech”.
He also talked about the anti-Muslim sentiment in India, which, the prime minister said was “the one country in the world […] where the state sponsors Islamophobia”. He once again told the UNGA about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Nazi-like “ideology” to seek “racial purity” of Hindus which was ascribed to by the incumbent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party Bharatiya Janata Party.
“We stress that wilful provocations and incitement to hate and violence must be universally outlawed,” the premier said, adding that the UNGA should “declare an international day to combat Islamophobia”.
“We believe that the driving force in international relations must be cooperation in accordance with the principles of international law and not confrontation and force. We all must emphatically reaffirm our support for multilateralism.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the oneness of humanity. No one is safe unless everyone is safe,” Prime Minister Imran stated.
The premier also shone a light on Pakistan’s efforts to curb the coronavirus and noted that Pakistan’s response was recognised as one of the “success stories” in controlling the disease.
“However, we are still not out of the woods like no country is out of the woods today,” said Prime Minister Imran, adding that from the outset of the pandemic, developing countries were at a disadvantage due to lack of resources and would require fiscal space to cope with the economic fallout caused by the health crisis.
He recalled that earlier this year, he had called upon developed countries and global financial institutions to provide debt relief to poor countries so they could fight against the virus, and added that further similar measures will be required for developing nations.
He also directed the UNGA’s attention towards money laundering and corruption by the elite of developing countries who stash their wealth in tax havens in developed countries and explained how such practices affect the economies of financially-poor nations.
“Since they are beneficiaries, there is a lack of political will in the rich countries to curb this criminal activity,” he said, adding that if money launderers continued to be provided with sanctuaries, the gulf between poor and rich countries will continue to grow and would lead to “a far bigger global crisis than the present migration issue poses”.
He also warned that India had “upped its military ante” against Pakistan in order to divert attention from its domestic problems. The premier once again directed the world community’s attention towards the human rights violations by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir.
The prime minister also spoke about Israel’s occupation of Palestine, stressing that “a just and lasting settlement is indispensable for the Middle East and actually the world”.
He said that the “illegal annexations” of Palestinian lands, the building of illegal settlements and imposing “inhumane living conditions” on Palestinian people could not lead to peace.
The prime minister said that Pakistan supported a two-state solution “in line with the UNGA and UNSC resolutions within the international agreed parameters; and they are pre-1967 borders and Al-Quds Al-Shareef as the capital of a united, contiguous and independent Palestinian state”.
The premier also sounded the alarm on the danger posed by climate change, saying that recent “unprecedented” fires in Australia, Brazil and various parts of the world as well as record temperatures “should make all of us worried for our future generations”. He insisted that the commitments made in the Paris Accord be fulfilled. He pointed out that even though Pakistan’s contribution to global carbon emissions is “minimal”, the country faces greater risk from climate change.
“The United Nations should be made fully responsive to the challenges of our times. A comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, is essential to promote greater democracy, accountability, transparency and efficiency,” the prime minister insisted.
TLTP adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that provision of quality health facilities to the poor is mandatory, not optional.
The Prime Minister said this on Friday while chairing a review meeting on provision of quality health facilities to deserving people under Sehat Sahulat Programme in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
He said that provision of quality healthcare to people, particularly weak segments of the society, is a priority of the government. He directed the Punjab Health Minister to review universal health coverage initially in two major cities of Punjab on the pattern of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Prime Minister was informed that the Sehat Sahulat Programme has been expanded to all thirty-six districts of Punjab and so far, about 5.1 million families have been registered under this programme. Under the programme, every deserving family is being provided health cover worth Rs720,000.
The meeting was apprised that a total of 80,389 people have so far benefited from the program this year.
The Prime Minister applauded the efforts of the concerned officials and said that a significant increase in enrolment of masses in the programme has been witnessed in the recent past. The Prime Minister further said that they are also planning to launch universal coverage of health facilities under the Sehat Sahulat Programme for two cities of the Punjab province.
Separately in a meeting with Balochistan Minister for Education Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, who called on him here on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that socio-economic development of Balochistan is one of the top priorities of the government.
The Prime Minister said that every possible step will be taken for the development of the backward areas of Balochistan and rehabilitation in the flood affected areas.
They discussed the overall situation of the province, flood affected areas, including rehabilitation measures in Nasirabad, mega development projects, progress on Sukleji Dam and issues related to the party.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support to Afghan peace process and noted the positive results of these efforts culminating in the US-Taliban peace agreement and the commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations.
In his telephonic conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday, the Prime Minister also appreciated the steps taken by relevant sides to enable the start of intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha. He emphasized the importance of all Afghan parties working for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire.
The Prime Minister further underscored that all Afghan stakeholders must seize this historic opportunity and work together to secure an inclusive and comprehensive political agreement through the Afghan-led and Afghan-owed process. “All Afghan stakeholders should grab this historic opportunity,” he said and added that the Afghan leadership should work jointly for a comprehensive political agreement. He said Pakistan will fully support the decisions that the Afghan people will take about their future.
It is pertinent to mention here that on September 11, welcoming the momentous intra-Afghan peace talks to be held in Qatar, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his contentment in a statement. “Finally, our combined efforts have brought forth the day,” PM Khan had tweeted welcoming the inception of long-awaited talks. He added that it’s the day that the “Afghan people have been yearning for.”
He said that Afghanistan remained embattled with bloodshed and controversies for over 40 years. “For more than 40 years, Afghans have suffered from continued conflict and bloodshed,” and added that Pakistan has endured the fall-out which ensued “terrorism, loss of precious lives, and huge economic cost.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government wants to take along other parliamentary parties for legislation regarding public interest.
Talking to Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser here on Friday, the Prime Minister underscored that legislature has the most important role in protecting and upholding rights of the people under the Constitution and the law.
The Prime Minister said, in this regard, the treasury members will continue to play their role for reforms and amendments required in the existing laws.
Meanwhile, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has convened a meeting of parliamentary leaders on September 28 to seek recommendations from the political leadership over the next elections and the upcoming Gilgit-Baltistan polls.
According to details, Asad Qaiser has dispatched invitation letters to the parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly, including Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asad Mahmood, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Akhtar Mengal, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sheikh Rasheed, Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar and Nawabzada Shahzeen Bugti.
The speaker National Assembly asked all the parliamentary leaders to propose amendments to relevant laws, rules and procedures for the transparency of elections in Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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