Pakistanis in US appreciate Abbasi's strong statement at UN
NEW YORK, (APP): The strong stance by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Kashmir, Afghanistan and Pakistan's sacrifices to counter terrorism was being seen as a "bold and timely step" by the Pakistanis living in the US.
Abbasi in his maiden 20-minutes address to the United Nations General Assembly spoke of the plight of Kashmiris, Palestinians and Rohingyas, Pakistan's front line role against terrorism and its efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
The wide-ranging address received a positive feedback particularly from the common Pakistani community based in the United States of America who were pleased on the strong worded and crisp speech aimed at putting the record straight.
"It's time that the world acknowledges the role of Pakistan in the war against terrorism and the immense sacrifices it has rendered," said Khalid, a senior management official at a private company said.
He recalled that Abbasi pointed to the issue of Afghan war, saying Pakistan refused to be a "scapegoat" for the conflict and said the United States needs to acknowledge it's own policy failures and try to address the issue politically.
He said the people in other countries cannot understand the impact had on Pakistan's economy as foreign investors hesitated from investments while foreign companies were reluctant to give orders for garments and other items as there was uncertainty.
The economy suffered due to terrorism but gradually with hectic efforts of the government and the armed forces things were again moving and there is lots of economic activity, he added.
The Prime Minister had categorically said that "no one desires peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan." He also urged the world to understand that it "will not allow the Afghan war to be fought on its soil "
Javed Khan an IT expert, a resident of Peshawar and who immigrated to the US few years back, and now working in New Jersey said no one really understands the pain and torture the Pakistanis had to go through.
"We have seen death of our loved ones and destruction of precious properties right in front of our eyes, how can we forget what we went through."
Having suffered and sacrificed so much due to our role in the global counter terrorism campaign, it is especially galling for Pakistan to be blamed for the military or political stalemate in Afghanistan," Abbasi said.
The Pakistanis also felt embarrassed by the misperception created by President Donald Trump that his country had paid billions to Pakistan and said the country suffered losses far in excess to the US$120 billion estimates of the government.
The Prime Minister's mention of persistent human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) and India's role in the region as the "most intense example of foreign occupation" also went down well, particularly the Kashmiri community hailing from the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Ibrahim Ahmed, who runs a small t-shirts and souvenirs vendor near the Times Square said he had to leave Pulwama in the Indian Occupied Kashmir because of the reign of terror unleashed by the Indian occupational forces.
He said he was pleased by the strong position taken by Pakistan over the years and for raising the issue at the 193- member world body.
"Shotgun pellets have blinded and maimed thousands of Kashmiris, including children. These and other brutalities clearly constitute war crimes and violate the Geneva conventions," Abbasi said in his speech at the UN,
Abbasi also minced no words in publicly naming India for being behind a "campaign of subversion and state-sponsored terrorism against Pakistan, including from across our western border". Pakistan had submitted dossiers to the UN secretary general in 2015 cataloging evidence of Indian secret agencies' involvement in fomenting violence in Pakistan.
"We ask that the UN Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights send an inquiry Commission to Occupied Kashmir to verify the nature and extent of India's human rights violations, secure the punishment of those responsible and provide justice and relief to the victims," Abbasi said in his UN speech.
He also mentioned that India has deployed nearly 700,000 troops in occupied Kashmir to suppress the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris to exercise their right to self- determination.
"International community must act decisively to prevent the situation from a dangerous escalation," he added
“Abdul Jabbar, a delivery boy working for a Pakistani eatery Lasania and hailing from Azad Jammu Kashmir's Neelum valley said whenever Pakistan speaks for the Kashmiris, there is a reaction along the Line of Control. He said the Indian troops regularly fire from across the Line of Control.”
A statement released from the Foreign Office said in 2017, Indian forces carried out 873 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, causing martyrdom of 39 innocent civilians and injuries to 144, as compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan in categorical terms issued a stern warning "if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of `limited' war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response."
Abdul Jabbar, a scholar doing his doctorate in environment was appreciative of the Prime Minister for touching upon Climate Change and said apart from political matters, this was a critical issue impacting millions across the world.
He said it was reflective of the concern of the government and required urgent remedial measures by all.
He said Pakistan needs to focus on water conservation, tree plantation and cutting down on carbon emissions to address the issue.