Amid growing unrest in the country, Nawaz Sharif addressed the UNGA on Friday, to give the Pakistani perspective on the status quo to the world. Almost a week after the devastating attack in Peshawar, the PM used this platform to talk about, among other things, religious discrimination. The best part is that he was not talking about the minorities in Pakistan. He was referring to the stereotyping of Muslims that takes place all over the world. How Sharif had the gall to lecture the international community on religious freedom is beyond comprehension given our country’s numerous failures with regards to protecting our own marginalized. Maybe we should try teaching by example and attempt to make the lives of minorities slightly better, before we question the state of affairs elsewhere.

The real question on everyone’s minds however, was how Pakistan was planning on countering terrorism, which has sadly, become synonymous with the name of this country. His answers on this issue were less than adequate and just stating that the problem would be dealt with in “a detailed and comprehensive manner” is no real answer at all. Leaders from other countries must have been glued to the edge of their seats when the PM brought this point up, and would have sat back in exasperation as he ended his sentence. Among other things, the rights of women and the youth were also mentioned in a passing sentence or two, and maybe with a 51% population of women and a total of 63% of the population being under the age of 25, they merit more recognition than just skimming over them.

There were positives too however. For instance, the fact that Nawaz Sharif pointed out that the UN had failed to come to a decision on Kashmir after an incredible seventy years, must have had an impact on the dignitaries. Also, his points on nuclear discrimination were fairly valid, given the fact that the US has constantly lobbied for the inclusion of India in to the Nuclear Suppliers Group even after India has blatantly made attempts to stockpile more WMDs. Sharif also rightly clarified that an arms race with India was not on the Pakistani agenda as it was counterproductive, and progress in other avenues would take a backseat. His move to ask the US to stop using drones on Pakistani territories using the UNGA as a medium was very well planned, because it served to remind all present that the US was infringing upon Pakistan’s most basic right, protecting its sovereignty, also a fundamental principle in the founding of the UN.