UNITED NATIONS, Sep 21 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan will join a galaxy of leaders from around the world on Tuesday when the U.N. General Assembly begins its annual debate to discuss issues of peace and security, with Pakistan’s Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi saying that the Pakistani leader will be on ‘Mission Kashmir’ in New York.
“His focus will obviously be Kashmir and he will highlight the plight of the Kashmiri people who continue to suffer a suffocating lockdown and a brutal occupation,” she said in an interview ahead of PM Khan’s arrival here for his first General Assembly visit.
The situation in Indian occupied Kashmir turned grave when New Delhi annexed the disputed state on August 5, placing millions of Kashmiri people under military siege, and keeping them incommunicado, with thousands thrown in jails.
“Prime minister Khan will be the voice of the Kashmiri people at the UN,” Ambassador Lodhi declared.
“His visit has already aroused great interest among the international community and the media,” she added.
As of Friday, UN officials said the presence of so many leaders showed that the UN was still “the world’s indispensable forum for international cooperation”.
Massive security measures are being clamped around the United Nations complex on the banks of East River. Barricades are being erected, roads around the UN building are being closed and police presence boosted to protect the visiting dignitaries.
Prime Minister Khan will address the 193-member General Assembly on Friday, Sept 27, in which, besides Kashmir, he will also outline Pakistan’s positions on key international and regional issues of vital concern to the country.
He has bilateral meetings with many world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, who has offered to mediate the decades-old Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India. Trump will also meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he planned to raise the Kashmir issue during his discussions with various leaders attending the Assembly’s 74th session.
“I think he will also use the opportunity of discussions during the General Assembly to raise it,” the UN chief’s spokesman said, without specifically naming the leaders the UN chief would talk to about the situation in Kashmir.
The Prime Minister will be co-hosting a meeting at the UN with Turkey’s President Erdogan on Countering Hate Speech. A trilateral summit is also planned with Malaysia and Turkey.
He will speaking on three more occasions at the Climate Change Summit, Summit on Universal Health Care and Financing for Development.
Outside the UN, he will be addressing the Asia Society and the Council on Foreign Relations.