Imran, Khalilzad discuss Afghan peace


–PM holds meetings with Senator Lindsy Graham, Amnesty International and Red Cross officials

–Tells Kashmir Study Group founder to further highlight Indian atrocities in Kashmir

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, discussed Afghan peace process among other issues with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who called on him on Sunday.

They discussed various issues including the Afghan peace process on Sunday, Radio Pakistan reported.

During the meeting, the prime minister expressed hope the peace talks with the Afghan militant outfit would be revived to achieve regional peace. There had been no statement by the US envoy though.

The talks had been called off by US President Donald Trump after the Taliban stepped up attacks in the country.

On Sunday, the prime minister held a series of meetings with different organisations, including Amnesty International Secretary General Komi Naidoo, US Senator Lindsey Graham, Kashmir Study Group founder Farooq Kathwari and officials of Red Cross, with Kashmir being the focal point.

Imran informed the delegations of the dire humanitarian situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while briefing reporters about the PM Imran’s meetings.

During his meeting with Amnesty International’s secretary general, Imran appreciated the lead role the international organisation is playing in presenting the real state of human rights in held Kashmir and amplifying the voices of the Kashmiri population in a state of seven-week long lockdown.

The prime minister said that Amnesty’s efforts had helped raise the international community’s awareness about the continuing suffering of the Kashmiri people. He lauded Amnesty’s report on the use of pellet guns by India and their devastating impact on Kashmiri youth.

Naidoo briefed the prime minister on Amnesty’s advocacy work on Kashmir including #LetKashmirSpeak. He updated the premier on Amnesty’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.

Qureshi said that Senator Lindsay Graham is one of the four senators who wrote a letter to President Trump inviting his attention to situation in Occupied Kashmir.

Prime Minister thanked his effort in highlighting the Kashmir issue and plight of innocent Kashmiris.

He said the US Congress can play an important role in raising the voice of Kashmiris in the US.

According to the foreign minister, a delegation of George Soros Foundation also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The delegation apprised the PM of their work in the field of education in Afghanistan.

It also expressed their wish to work in improving the quality of education through various projects in Pakistan. They also informed the Prime Minister of their expertise in taxation reforms.


Earlier in the day, Kashmir Study Group founder Farooq Kathwari called on PM Imran in New York to discuss the prevailing situation in IOK.

During the meeting, the prime minister urged Kathwari, a Srinagar-born Kashmiri-American, to further highlight the grave situation resulting from India’s illegal occupation of occupied Kashmir and its blatant human rights violations.

He said that there was a need to expose the “real face” of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to the world.

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

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Naeemul Haq, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan and other senior officials were present in the meeting.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Qureshi told reporters that the prime minister wanted to listen to Kashmiris from both parts of Kashmir ahead of his speech to the UNGA on September 27

Qureshi said that the main objective of prime minister’s visit to the US was to highlight the Indian atrocities in the region.

Speaking to the media in New York, the foreign minister said that PM Imran will hold meetings with heads of different countries and Kashmiri delegations.

PM Imran arrived in New York on Saturday to lead the Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the UNGA.

The prime minister will address the 193-member assembly on September 27 sharing Pakistan’s perspective and position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and its current human rights and related dimensions.

He will enunciate Islamabad’s position on key global and regional issues before one of the largest gatherings of leaders from around the world.

The prime minister will specifically focus on the deteriorating situation in the occupied region, particularly the grave violations of human rights taking place there, since August 5 when the Indian government revoked the special status of Kashmir.

During his week-long visit to the US, the prime minister is expected to make a clarion call on the international community and the United Nations (UN) to live up to their promise of the right to self-determination of Kashmiris in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

On Monday, PM Imran is expected to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. His first official engagement at the UN is a meeting with China’s Vice President Wang Qishan.

PM Imran during his seven-day visit, will hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts, including United States President Donald Trump on Monday.

He will also participate in high-level UN summits on climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for development.

During his visit, the prime minister will also attend and speak at high-level side events co-hosted by Pakistan and Turkey on countering hate speech and on environmental protection and poverty alleviation, co-hosted by Malaysia and Pakistan.

A trilateral summit meeting of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey will be held on the General Assembly session’s sidelines.

The prime minister will also interact with international media outlets.

Engagements with leading think-tanks, including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society, and meetings with the heads of major international human rights organisations are also on his schedule.