In the lead up to his address to the General Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan has met President Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Turkish President Tayyab Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, US lawmakers including Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, Chairman Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsay Graham, US Special Envoy on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and US-based Kashmiri leaders besides an encounter with the media. In his interaction with all these leaders the focus and thrust of his discourse was on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in IOK due to continued curfew in the valley since 5th August, threats to peace and security in the region due to the unilateral action by India to end special status of Kashmir and calling upon the international community to intervene for preventing humanitarian catastrophe in IOK. He also made it a point to explain Pakistan’s role in promoting peace in Afghanistan and its narrative in regards to ensuring regional peace and security.

In his interaction with President Trump, Kashmir, Afghanistan and the US--Iran stand-off besides bilateral relations and trade, engaged the attention of the two leaders.  According to the foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi the Prime Minister briefed the US President about sufferings of eight million people of Kashmir who were under siege since 5th August with their human rights usurped and urged him to play a role in that regard. President Trump did show his concern over the human rights situation in IOK and even in his joint press talk with the Prime Minister responding to a question on the issue he reiterated that he wanted everyone to be treated well and hoped that both Pakistan and India would work for resolution of the issue.  The Prime Minister dilating on the tensions between US and Iran clearly told the US President that the region could not afford any war and there must be an amicable solution of the issue. Similarly he told the US President that no military solution was possible in Afghanistan and urged him to resume dialogue with Taliban. President Trump asked Prime Minister to mediate between US and Iran which reflects his trust in the ability and political acumen of the Prime Minister as promoter of peace. During the joint press conference Trump lauded the political wisdom and leadership role of Imran Khan for regional peace.  Pointing out the complexity of the Kashmir issue he expressed the hope that both the countries would be able to come together to resolve it at the same time reiterating his willingness to mediate at any time if the two countries so desired. 

Commenting on Pakistan’s progress on counter terrorism and Pak-US relations the US president said “I have heard they have made great progress and I think he (Imran) wants to make great progress. People in my position have treated Pakistan very badly. I trust Pakistan but people before me didn’t, but they didn’t know what they were doing. I trust this gentleman right here” The Prime Minister urged President Trump to play a role in defusing the situation in IOK which was the responsibility of US as a global power, maintaining that it could also nudge the UNSC in that regard. 

The compliments paid to the Prime Minister by President Trump for his leadership, trust reposed in him in regards to mediation between US and Iran, acknowledgement of Pakistan’s role in combating terrorism and his reiteration of mediation between India and Pakistan, are surely positive outcomes of the meeting between the two leaders.

The poise and aplomb with which Prime Minister Imran Khan handled  probing questions on Afghanistan, Indo-Pak tensions, situation in IOK, civil military relations in Pakistan and philosophy of Islam at the US think tank ‘Council on Foreign Relations’ was simply unmatched. He had the heft to proclaim unequivocally that Pakistan made a mistake by joining the war on terror and also reminding the US of its duplicitous stance about the Taliban. He forcefully quashed the notion of Islam having different brands claiming that there was only one Islam which was a religion of peace and love. His discourse on the situation in Kashmir and Pakistan’s narrative on the imperative of peace was indeed soul-stirring.

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that as a result of the diplomatic offensive launched by Pakistan under his stewardship and his persistent propagation of the humanitarian situation in Kashmir at all available forums and media, has led to the situation in Kashmir catching the attention of the world.  About thirty five US congressmen in a letter addressed to the US ambassador at UN have raised their voice for the rights of Kashmiris in IOK while urging peace talks between India and Pakistan. The international media including Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian and BBC have been continuously reporting on the atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces on the people of Kashmir and their suffering under curfew.

Nevertheless, the big powers which have global influence and the UN have yet not taken any worthwhile initiative or shown any enthusiasm for intervening to prevent the unfolding human catastrophe in IOK as a consequence of curfew in the valley for the last more than fifty days except for mild expressions of concern or making a move to invoke the UN resolutions on Kashmir. Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a press conference in New York lamented this fact while explaining the precarious situation in IOK, the deteriorating security environment in the region as a result of the Indian action and Pakistan’s narrative on the whole situation. He deserves unqualified applause for the statesmanship that he has shown in advocating the cause of Kashmiris and sensitizing the world community about the likely consequences of the fascist ideology pursued and practiced by the government of Modi in India. The efforts made by him so far can be summed up with a verse of poet of the East Allama Muhammad Iqbal the English rendering of which is ‘Though there are idols under the robes of the people but I have my command to give a call for prayer and pronounce unity of God’.