PM discusses Kashmir with Amnesty International (AI) Kumi Naidoo


NEW YORK: Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on Sunday held important meetings during which he discussed Kashmir, Afghanistan and other issues.The premier met Secretary General of Amnesty International (AI) Kumi Naidoo and discussed the worsening human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) with him.

Imran Khan on Sunday appreciated the lead role of Amnesty International in presenting the real state of human rights in IOK and amplifying the voices of the Kashmiri population in a state of seven-week long lockdown. “The Amnesty’s efforts had helped raise the international community’s awareness about the continuing sufferings of the Kashmiri people,” he said.

The prime minister discussed with Naidoo the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in the IOK since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, the PM Office said. He also lauded the Amnesty’s report on the use of pellet guns by India and their devastating impact on the Kashmiri youth. It was observed that the two UN reports on Kashmir served as a strong basis for continued civil society advocacy in support of the Kashmiri people.

Naidoo briefed the prime minister on the Amnesty’s advocacy work on Kashmir including #LetKashmirSpeak. He also updated the prime minister on the Amnesty’s work relating to climate justice and suggested consideration of Global South advocacy by the latter on a range of climate change related issues.

The prime minister also had a meeting with the United States special envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad and discussed with him the situation in Afghanistan and resumption of talks between the US and Taliban. Founder of Kashmir Study Group Farooq Kathwari also called on Imran Khan in New York to discuss the prevailing situation in IOK.

During the meeting, the prime minister urged Kathwari, a Srinagar-born Kashmiri-American, to further highlight the grave situation resulting from India’s illegal occupation of IOK and its blatant human rights violations so as to expose the real face of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to the world.

Kathwari on the occasion highlighted the Kashmir Study Group’s earlier engagement on the dispute and efforts for conflict resolution. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Naeemul Haq, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan and other senior officials were present in the meeting.

The prime minister was also expected to hold multiple meetings with notable US lawmakers, as well as representatives from various organisations. According to the PM’s media team, he was to hold separate meetings with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. The premier also held a meeting with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer and informed him about human tragedy in IOK.

Meetings with the CEO of Uber, a delegation of Kashmiri leaders and a group of Sikh community members are also scheduled. Prime Minister Imran Khan will hold an important meeting with United States President Donald Trump today (Monday) during which he will raise the issues of Kashmir and resumption of Afghan peace talks.

Imran Khan is due to address the UN General Assembly on September 27. He has already announced that he will highlight the Kashmir issue in his address, exposing the ethical and legal bankruptcy of India’s August 5 annexation of occupied Kashmir.

The prime minister arrived in New York over the weekend, giving him the time to consult with Pakistani diplomats and prominent members of the Pakistani American community before meeting world leaders. Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that this a “mission Kashmir” for the prime minister and for Pakistan.