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If war imposed by India, we will fight till the end: PM Imran says in UNGA speech

27th sept Imran Khan speech in UNGA

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, said Pakistan would fight till the end if India imposed a war in case of any Pulwama-like situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

“If a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen. But supposing a country seven times smaller than its neighbour is faced with the choice: either you surrender, or you fight for your freedom till death?” he said.




“What will we do? I ask myself these questions. We will fight… and when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, it will have consequences far beyond the borders.”
He said there will be bloodbath once curfew is lifted in IOK.

“There are 900,000 troops there, they haven’t come to, as Narendra Modi says — for the prosperity of Kashmir… These 900,000 troops, what are they going to do? When they come out? There will be a bloodbath,” he said.

The IOK is under lockdown for over 50 days following New Delhi’s illegal move of revoking its special status on August 5.

The Indian government has deployed ten of thousands of additional troops in addition to already 800,000-strong contingent, imposed severe restrictions including curfew and communication blockade.

Thousands of people have been detained and political leaders are placed under house arrest.

PM Imran asked the United Nations to act before it’s too late.

“This is not a time to appease but a time to action. India must lift curfew, free all political prisoners, and the world community must give Kashmiris the right to self-determination,” the premier said.

He rejected India’s claims of militant organisations operating in Pakistan.

I invite UN to visit Pakistan see for themselves the steps we have taken to counter terrorism, he said, adding that Pakistan reached out to India several times but to no avail.

“[Narendra Modi’s] hidden agenda came to fore on August 5, when New Delhi revoked special status of occupied Kashmir and locked 80 million Kashmiris in curfew.”

He said Indian actions in IOK were pushing people to pick guns. “When you’re imprisoning 8 million people, you are forcing them to pick arms,” he said.

Climate change

At the beginning of his speech, the prime minister touched upon the issue of climate change, saying that reckless attitude of world leaders, especially those of the developed countries, was the main hurdle in tackling the issue.

He said around 80 per cent of Pakistan and India’s water came from the glaciers, which, he added, were melting at a fast pace due to rising temperatures.

He demanded of the world community to push the developed countries, which are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, to take cognisance of the matter which is having “devastating consequences for human beings”.

Money laundering

Speaking on the issue of money laundering, PM Imran took the developed world to task for ‘exploiting’ wealth of under-developed countries through “legal loopholes” in their system.

“Every year billions of dollars leave poor countries and end up in the foreign accounts in the western world, widening the gap between the rich and the poor, and giving rise to poverty and deaths,” he said.

“In order to stop the economic migration, it is imperative for the world to act against the money laundering.”

Islamophobia

The premier explained the reasons of the rise of Islamophobia in the world.

He said hatred against Muslims rose when some western leaders equated Islam with terrorism.

People living in the western world, he said, have a different point of view about the religion than people living in Muslim countries.

“Certain sections in the western world deliberately published books against Islam causing fury in the Muslim countries and Muslims were portrayed as intolerant and extremist,” he said.

The false perception, he added, was created due to the inability of Muslim leaders to explain the sanctity of religion and Holy Prophet (PBUH) for the Muslims.

He said there was nothing like radical or extremist Islam, lashing out at leaders for using the term “radical Islam”.

“How a person living in the western country would distinguish between radical Islam and modern Islam,” he said, and added that in all religions there were extremists but no religion taught such ideals.

Pakistan refuses India’s request to open airspace for PM Modi

ISLAMABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not be allowed to use Pakistan’s airspace for his upcoming visit to Germany, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Wednesday, after New Delhi requested Islamabad’s permission.
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Announcing the decision via a video statement, FM Qureshi said the Indian High Commissioner had been informed of Pakistan’s decision to not allow Modi’s aeroplane — the VIP jet Air India One — to fly over the country.




Qureshi noted that the Indian government had sought permission to use the Pakistani airspace for Modi to travel to Germany.

Turkey, Iran, Russia meet in fifth Syria summit

The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran will come together on Sept. 16 in Ankara for the fifth summit under the Astana Process where they will discuss the recently increased tension in the Idlib province of Syria as well as attempts to start a political solution to the nine-year turmoil in the war-torn country.

Turkey, Iran, Russia meet in fifth Syria summit

“The summit is aimed at assessing the developments in Syria, Idlib in particular, as well as ending the climate of conflict, ensuring the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and discussing the joint step to be taken in the period ahead with the aim of achieving a lasting political solution,” read a written statement issued by the Turkish Presidency on Sept. 15.

The summit will be hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the participation of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. All three leaders will hold bilateral talks ahead of a trilateral summit.




The first summit by the three leaders was held in November 2017 under the Astana Process format, and the last took place in Moscow in February 2019. Erdoğan and Putin held a bilateral meeting in mid-August to discuss the military campaign by the Syrian regime forces in Idlib.

A statement by the Kremlin suggested that the summit will observe “further joint efforts on reaching a long-term settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

“The participants plan to discuss, in part, measures on finally eliminating the terrorist threat in Idlib and the northwest of Syria, promoting the political process, primarily in the context of forming and launching the Constitutional Committee, and resolving humanitarian issues, including steps to facilitate the return of refugees and IDPs (internally displaced persons),” said the statement.

Idlib on the top of the agenda

The three members of the Astana Process are expected to give priority to the situation in Idlib on which they diverge broadly.

Turkey and Russia had agreed over the de-militarized status of the enclave in late 2018 and set up observation posts in order to monitor a ceasefire and withdrawal of jihadist terror organizations. Turkey has 12 posts with a sizable deployment in the region.

In an indirect criticism against Turkey, Putin has argued that the jihadist territories could even increase their influence and the territory they control in Idlib from 50 percent to 90 percent since the deal with Ankara.

The jihadist groups do use these territories to launch attacks on nearby Russian bases and on Syrian regime forces, Moscow says. That was why Russia lent a massive support to Syrian forces to launch a military campaign into the Idlib province since April.

One Turkish soldier was killed and several were injured as a result of these attacks. The last attack targeted a Turkish military convoy that left three civilians dead behind was regarded as a strong signal from Syria.

“The state of play can take a different path if the regime attacks against our observation posts,” Erdoğan told Reuters on Sept 13, vowing Turkey will take all the necessary actions in such a case.

“These observation posts are for the protection of the civilians inside Idlib, but the regime forces get into mischief. It hits the civilians. They are doing in Idlib exactly what they did in Aleppo.”

Despite pressures, Erdoğan underlined once again that Turkey has no intention to abandon these observation posts in Idlib and recalled that its interlocutor on this issue is Russia, not Syria.

Turkey’s talks with US on safe zone

The second top issue on the presidents’ agenda will be the situation in eastern Syria where Turkey and the United States have agreed to set up a safe zone along the Turkish-Syrian border.

President Erdoğan is expected to inform Putin and Rouhani on the developments and to assure them that Turkey’s sole objective is to create a peace corridor along the border strip for Turkey’s security and the return of Syrians to their home. In August, Putin did support Turkey’s intention to establish a safe zone along the border.

Agreement on constitutional committee

The three leaders will deliberate on efforts to start a political transition process in Syria through an agreement on the foundation of a 150-men constitutional committee under Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council.

An announcement on the establishment of the committee is very near, according to Ankara, as there is a general agreement on the representatives of the committee except for a name or two. The committee will be comprised of three main Syrian groups: the regime, the opposition and the civil society, each to be represented by 50 people.

Four-way summit in October

One other top matter to be raised by Turkey will be the growing burden of nearly 4 million refugees on its shoulders.

Erdoğan has already explained that establishing a peace corridor will allow the return of around 1 million Syrians to home, but this needs additional funding. Turkey is already in touch with prominent European nations for more financial assistance on refugees.

Erdoğan has informed that a four-way summit with the participation of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany would take place in October in Turkey where all the refugee-related issues would be discussed. The first of this kind of summit took place in Turkey last fall.

Kashmir situation alarms US Congress

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This is the third letter in less than a week that American congressmen and senators have written to the US administration, underlining their concern on the situation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

In one of the letters, four key US Senators urged President Donald Trump to play a constructive role in helping resolve Kashmir and other underlying disputes between Pakistan and India — a role that would require him to mediate between South Asia’s two nuclear powers.




In a letter to US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Congresswoman Jayapal and Congressman James P. McGovern demanded that the international media and independent human rights observers immediately be allowed into Jammu and Kashmir to investigate reports of abuse.

This week, dozens of lawmakers expressed their concern on the situation in Kashmir, highlighting the human rights situation in the occupied valley. Some also warned that the conflict could spin out of control and cause yet another war between South Asia’s two nuclear-armed nations, India and Pakistan.

The US Congress was in summer recess when India announced its decision to annex Kashmir, imposing an unending curfew on its people and depriving them of their basic freedoms.

Yet, several lawmakers condemned the move and some also urged the Trump administration to use its influence to defuse tensions.

The condemnations, however, increased when the lawmakers returned to Washington this week for the autumn session. In less than a week, dozens of lawmakers took up this issue while a congressional panel on foreign affairs scheduled a hearing on Kashmir later this month. Other panels may also hold similar hearings and Kashmir is likely to come up in general debates on foreign affairs, as the new session unfolds.

The statements issued so far have three key points: strong condemnation of human rights violations, the need to avoid yet another India-Pakistan war and a more active US role in defusing tensions.

Yet another point raised in statements from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, is the need for Pakistan to ensure that militants do not take advantage of the situation.

At a recent diplomatic event, a congressional aide noted that “the Indian action has generated a lot of sympathy for the Kashmir on Capitol Hill. But all these sympathies will be lost if militants get involved”.

Although India opposes such mediation, there seems to be a growing realization in Washington that disputes like Kashmir cannot be resolved without external help.

“We ask that you call upon Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to fully restore telecommunications and internet services, lift the lock-down and curfew, and release Kashmiris detained pursuant to India’s revocation of Article 370,” the four senators wrote in their letter.

Another US Senator Bob Casey said India’s changes to the status of Jammu and Kashmir were a “drastic shift” from decades of precedent and policy which increases the potential for escalated conflict between India and Pakistan and raises serious concerns about the safety and security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said that recent Indian actions were “unacceptable” because they “strip Kashmiris of their human dignity”, put millions of people in danger, and seriously undermine democracy in India and Kashmir.

“People should not have to fear unjust detention, rape, or torture because of who they are and what they believe.”

Congresswoman Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, said she has met residents in her home state of Michigan “who cannot even call their families in Kashmir to ensure they are safe — a truly unimaginable situation as violence, militarization, and occupation continues”.

She noted that Kashmir was already “one of the most militarized regions on Earth,” and India’s recent actions had created more instability and heightened the potential for accelerating violence.

Ilhan Omar, another Muslim member of the US Congress, urged other lawmakers to call for “an immediate restoration of communication; respect for human rights, democratic norms, and religious freedom; and de-escalation in Kashmir”.