In his address to United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan implored to present Pakistan as the victim of American ungratefulness and its international double standard. He painted the US as a deserter of both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
In a pre-recorded speech televised during the evening, Imran Khan addressed various issues, including climate change, global Islamophobia, and the pillage of the developing countries by their corrupt elites, which he later clarified as what the East India Company did to India.
The Content of His Address
He proceeded into a narrative that began with the US and Pakistan training mujahedeen — heroes in the eyes of then-President Ronald Reagan— during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. When the Soviets and Americans left in 1989, Pakistan was left to pick up the pieces, with millions of refugees and a new sectarian terrorist organizations.
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According to Khan, Pakistan’s aid to the US has cost 80,000 Pakistani lives and has produced internal turmoil and resistance directed at the state whilst the US conducts drone attacks, Khan said. He expressed that instead of Pakistan receiving word of gratitude, it has rather received blame.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Taliban
In his statement, Khan reiterated what his foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the UN earlier this week: the international community should not isolate the Taliban but rather strengthen the present Afghan government for the sake of the people. With optimism in his voice, he regarded the Taliban ruling of its leaders committed to human rights and an inclusive government that does not allow terrorism on Afghan soil despite the conflicting idea of the Taliban’s message.
In spite of Khan’s rhetoric engagement for peace, many Afghans blame Pakistan for the Taliban’s comeback in Afghanistan due to strong, close ties. In August, the United Nations denied Pakistan’s request to speak at a special meeting on Afghanistan, underscoring the International Community’s shared skepticism due to a statement a Taliban founder confided to the AP that they will resume executions and mutilations, but this time after adjudication by judges, including women, and possibly not in public.
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