Modi speaks about ‘Buddha' while Imran Khan threatens nuclear war
New York, Sep 27: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no mention of Pakistan or Kashmir in his UNGA address, Imran Khan unleashed a tirade against New Delhi as his speech revolved around anti-India rhetoric and alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. Khan, who exceeded the allotted 15-minute time limit and spoke for close to 50 minutes, uttered 'Kashmir' 25 times, India 17 times, Islam 71 times, Modi 12 times and terrorism 28 times in his address at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Khan went to the extent of issuing a veiled threat of a nuclear war more than once during his speech. Imran Khan said that nuclear-armed Pakistan may not have much of a choice if a conventional war were to break out between Pakistan and India
"If the conventional war starts with a country which is four times the size of Pakistan, what will we do? This is what I ask myself a lot of times. But I say this, we will fight but think what happens when two nuclear countries fight," the Pakistan Prime Minister said.
On Kashmir issue, Imran Khan alleged that India violated the Constitution by revoking Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
"Has PM Modi thought what would happen when the curfew in Kashmir is lifted? Do you think people in Kashmir would accept that you have withdrawn the special status? Thousands of children in Kashmir have been put under detention. They, too, will come out on the streets after the curfew in the state is lifted. There will be a bloodbath when the curfew is lifted from the state," Imran Khan said.
"If people come out on the streets, Army will shoot them. We do hear about pellet guns being used on the people of Kashmir. But after the curfew is lifted in Kashmir, there will be another attack like Pulwama and Pakistan will be blamed. If there's a bloodbath, Muslims will become radicals. You are forcing Muslims into radicalisation," Imran Khan further said.
Khan delivered his maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly and touched upon several issues like terrorism, radical Islam, nuclear war, climate change, money laundering and Islamophobia.
Imran Khan on Muslims and radical Islam:
Imran Khan said Islamophobia has grown at an alarming pace after the 9/11 attacks and is creating divisions, with wearing of hijab becoming a "weapon" against the community in some countries.
Khan said billions of Muslims were living as minorities in the western countries and since 9/11 attacks Islamophobia had grown at an "alarming" pace.
"Islamophobia is creating divisions, hijab is becoming a weapon; a woman can take off clothes but she can't put on more clothes. It started after 9/11 and it started because certain western leaders equated Islam with terrorism," he said. Khan questioned the use of the term 'radical Islamic terrorism', saying there is only one Islam.
"There is no such thing as radical Islam," he said, pointing out that all religions have individuals carrying out radical acts. "The basis of all religions is compassion and justice which differentiates us from the animal kingdom," he said. The prime minister told the UN that there should be an understanding for other faiths, but they are seen as creating division among global population.
Khan said the radical Islamic terrorism used by leaders has caused Islamophobia and pain for Muslims. "What message does this (the term) send? How is a person in New York going to distinguish between moderate Muslims and radical Muslims?" he asked.
"In European countries it is marginalising Muslims, and this leads to radicalisation. Some of the terrorists were from marginalised Muslim communities. We Muslim leaders have not addressed this issue. The Muslim leaders all became moderates and our government coined a phrase 'enlightened moderation'," he said.
Khan's remarks came a day after he announced that Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia have decided to jointly launch an English language Islamic television channel to correct misperceptions and confront the challenges posed by Islamophobia.