Imran, Khalilzad discuss Afghan peace in New York

Prime minister also meets Amnesty International chief to discuss IOK rights violations

News Desk September 22, 2019
PM Imran meets Zalmay Khalilzad in New York. PHOTO: Radio Pakistan

United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has met Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

Prime Minister Imran, while recalling that Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict, reiterated Pakistan's continued support to all initiatives towards achieving a sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

He also expressed the hope for an early resumption of the peace process.

Condemning the recent surge of violence in Afghanistan, the prime minister said peace in Afghanistan was vital to advancing his government’s vision for a peaceful neighbourhood and for economic development and regional stability.

The prime minister also appreciated Ambassador Khalilzad’s efforts for promoting a peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan, the PM Office said in a statement. “All parties must play their role in strengthening peace and promoting reconciliation as a shared responsibility,” the statement quoted the prime minister as saying.

Ambassador Khalilzad appreciated the prime minister’s support for the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and said he looked forward to continue working with Pakistan for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International also met Prime Minister Imran to discuss worsening human rights situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir since India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5.

“Worsening human rights situation in IOK as a result of an excruciating clampdown by Indian occupying authorities” was discussed at the meeting, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said in a tweet.

PM Imran appreciated the lead role that Amnesty was playing in presenting the real state of human rights in the occupied territory and amplifying the voices of the Kashmiri population in a state of seven-week long lockdown. These efforts had helped raise international community’s awareness about the continuing suffering of the Kashmiri people, he added.

PM Imran in US on 'mission Kashmir'

The premier lauded Amnesty’s report on the use of pellet guns by India and their devastating impact on Kashmiri youth.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was also present at the meeting, noted that the two UN reports on Kashmir served as a strong basis for continued civil society advocacy in support of the Kashmiri people.

Naidoo briefed PM Imran on Amnesty’s advocacy work on Kashmir including #LetKashmirSpeak. He updated him on the right group’s work relating to climate justice and suggested consideration of global south advocacy by the prime minister on a range of climate change related issues.

Prime Minister Imran is on a week-long visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly and be part of a host of other activities, including a meeting President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, Kashmir Study Group founder Farooq Kathwari met him and discussed the prevailing situation in Occupied Kashmir. During the meeting, the premier highlighted India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5 and the inhuman 50-day-long lockdown of over eight million Kashmiris.

Kathwari, on the occasion, highlighted the Kashmir Study Group’s earlier engagement on the Kashmir issue and efforts for conflict resolution.

The prime minister directed him to expose the real face of fascist Modi regime before the world. He urged the group to highlight the prevailing situation which imposed immeasurable suffering on the Kashmiri people and posed a grave threat to regional peace.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Naeem ul Haq, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.

(With additional input from APP, Radio Pakistan)

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