Martin Luther King Jr once said: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a moulder of consensus”.

It is perhaps in this backdrop that ‘Khaleej Magazine Poll reports “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to be a better PM when compared to previous Prime Ministers of Pakistan”, taking cue from Khan’s speech at the UNGA’s current session.

This speech did try in all earnest to build global consensus and jolt the world conscience to wake up to the underlying dangers that may imperil  human existence in the days to come with South Asia facing an impending disaster fomented by India’s continuing acts of aggression in a nuclearized environment.

Khan remained pragmatic throughout his address by pinpointing a number of burning issues like nuclear flashpoint ie Kashmir , Afghan situation, G-20’s debt suspension initiative, impoverishment of more than half of world population, military interventions, Festering wound or Palestine, endangered climate, hatred-ridden Islamophobia, devastating Covid-19, inequality between the rich and poor countries, exploitation of the poor, illicit financial flows and various other impediments coming in the way of global peace and prosperity.

One by one, the PM spoke at length on these issues, explaining the phenomena with facts, figures and networking patterns, simultaneously suggesting practical, workable solutions. This was something rare since speeches by many leaders from other countries lacked such a pragmatic, well-calculated content that can be understood in the east as well as in the west despite the divergence of interests and perceptions.

Actually, Imran Khan possesses quite an insight into the currents and undercurrents of western and eastern societies.

When he talks of the concept of the ideal welfare state of Madina founded by Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the basis of Naya Pakistan (New Pakistan), his strategy for fundamental transformation of Pakistan is equally understood in the non-Muslim world as it is based on universally accepted norms of equitable justice, egalitarianism, shared prosperity and protected civil liberties.  

Even his concern about Islamophobia has been conveyed in its entirety to the world at large because of its inherent, destructive characteristic to split humanity. Khan has urged upon the General Assembly to declare an International Day to Combat Islamophobia and build a coalition to fight this scourge that has split humanity.

Here, the PM made out a good case of Islamophobia identifying it as one of the root causes behind fomenting tensions and conflicts.

Besides condemning the republication of blasphemous caricatures in Europe, Khan also highlighted Indian atrocities perpetrated upon the Muslims, saying, “Today, in one country in the world namely India, the state sponsors Islamophobia that is driven by RSS ideology of racial purity and supremacy, founded on the pattern of Nazis. There are reports of large concentration camps being filled with by Muslim Indian citizens in Assam where around two million Muslims face the prospects of being arbitrarily stripped of their nationality through adoption of draconian laws. Not only that, cow vigilantes attack and kill Muslims with impunity in various parts of India. Moreover, Muslims were falsely blamed and victimized for spreading Corona virus. Their businesses were boycotted and medical attention was denied on many occasions. 

Khan made optimal use of this opportunity to remind the international fraternity that United Nations was still the most viable forum where conflicts could be discussed and resolved, where inequalities can be addressed and where injustice in any part of the world could be taken up. In order to enable the UN to play a more effective role as per its Charter and objectives of its establishment, Khan pressed upon the Secretary-General to take the lead in preventing global conflicts and hold summit level meetings to address regional hot spots and resolve outstanding disputes. 

At this juncture, the PM also came up with a suggestion that may alleviate the sufferings of millions of human beings suffering because of their countries’ rising debts and the concomitant inability to repay the debts due to Covid-19-related recession. The PM, while appreciating the G-20’s official debt suspension initiative, demanded the creation of at least US$500 billion in new Special Drawing Rights for the developing world.

Discussing the marginalization of around 300 million minorities in India, including 200 million Muslims, Imran Khan predicted, somewhat with mathematical precision, that such acts of state-sponsored injustice lead to mass radicalization.

As regards the continued, forced and illegal occupation of Kashmir, the saddest part of this tragedy is that India has not only brazenly chosen to defy the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir but also its own top leaders’ (Nehru included) pledges for giving Kashmiris their legitimately due right of self-determination.

Instead of having prick of conscience, the RSS-inspired BJP government of Narendra Modi has let loose a reign of terror on harmless, unarmed Kashmiri Muslims demanding plebiscite. The entire Kashmiri leadership is in jails, hundreds of Kashmiri youth have been extra-judicially murdered in fake encounters, 13,000 of them abducted, thousands injured with pellets fired upon them every now and then and the Kashmir Valley has virtually turned into one of the largest prisons of the world ruled by 0.9 million Indian occupation troops deployed over there along with absolute powers rooted in draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act. These laws stand in total conflict with the basic philosophy of natural justice as well as with the universal principles of justice as they confer wide powers on Indian troops by way of which the soldiers can ‘abduct’ the ‘suspects’ even without prima facie evidence.

Imran Khan has also condemned Indian forces’ merciless acts perpetrated in Kashmir like collective destruction of neighbourhoods, total communication blackout and intimidation and gagging of Kashmiri media persons.

These excesses and cruelties are not unknown. During his speech, the PM stated that all these macabre happenings were well-documented in the reports of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, communications from Special Rapporteurs of Human Rights Council and statements from human rights and civil society organizations.

“The international community must investigate and then prosecute Indian personnel involved in state terrorism. Likewise, the UNSC which has already considered the Kashmir situation, thrice, last year, must take appropriate enforcement actions to avert an impending genocide by India which has committed blatant ceasefire violations across the LoC and working boundary, killing innocent Pakistani citizens”. 

The concluding remarks by the PM have been especially appreciated by diplomatic circles and senior analysts who believe Khan’s words that “Pakistan is deeply gratified that it has fulfilled its part of the responsibility.

And, Pakistan will continue to participate actively in this process and endeavour, with other Member States, to build a world where conflict is outlawed and equitable prosperity for all pursued in conditions of peace and security”.

Prime Minister’s opinion piece in a latest edition of ‘Washington Post’ is yet another proof of Pakistan’s sincere efforts towards durable peace in Afghanistan. The crux of this write-up is “Peace is within reach in Afghanistan. However, a hasty international withdrawal would be unwise”. The PM has emphasized that a bloodless deadlock on the negotiating table is infinitely better than a bloody stalemate on the battlefield.

“All those who have invested in the Afghan peace process should resist the temptation for setting unrealistic timelines. And we should also guard against regional spoilers”. 

Talking about the terrorism issue, PM wrote: “Like the United States, Pakistan does not want to see Afghanistan become a sanctuary for international terrorism ever again”. 

“My vision for Pakistan prioritizes development and prosperity for my country and our region through connectivity and economic diplomacy”.