PM Nawaz at UN General Assembly: The lion is not asleep

Published: September 29, 2014
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Prime Minister nawaz Sharif speaks during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly September 26, 2014 in New York. PHOTO: AFP

The seed of confusion is sown in Pakistan as the sit-in at D-Chowk enters its 46th day today. The public’s chants of “Go Nawaz, Go” are proportional to the prime minister’s resistance against these elements of self-acclaimed revolution. Our nation is thrown into confusion and some are even questioning the grammatical connotation of ‘Go Nawaz Go’.

In fact, the other day, I witnessed someone had chalked the words ‘Stop Nawaz Stop’ on a cemented bench. Taking grammatical meaning into consideration, this chant made more sense to me and looked less ‘awkward’.

Anyways, a more surprising factor this week was our PM’s speech at the United Nation’s General Assembly. Even though many Pakistanis raised their ‘Go Nawaz Go’ placards and chanted slogans outside the UN’s headquarters, Nawaz Sharif’s speech still showcased a brave stance on various issues of Pakistan.

Gauging from the current ripples of anger dominating our country, one could not imagine Nawaz coming out on the UN floor and pulling off a comprehensive speech like that.

The issue of Kashmir was taken into limelight by social media’s armchair activists and also by many journalists both in Pakistan and across the border. Prime Minister Nawaz reiterated that Kashmir still remained a global concern and it required the cooperation of the international community to resolve this 67-year-old crisis. He said,

“We cannot draw a veil over the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

The possession of Kashmir holds the trump card for any party. For Pakistan, it is of particular importance as Kashmir holds the river heads of four out of the five major rivers in Pakistan. As Pakistan’s economy is agro-based, it is crucial for them to take full advantage of these river heads that, at the moment, are in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Contrary to Nawaz’s views, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reprimanded that Kashmir was a concern for the international body. Instead, he emphasised on bilateral talks, blaming Pakistan for its failure to come forward with the “right atmosphere”. He held Pakistan responsible for being the hub of terrorism and also criticised Pakistan for giving shelter to terrorist elements.

Well, to be fair, only a person who is out of bounds of logical reasoning would have stated that Pakistan is helping the cultivation of terrorists. Does Zarb-e-Azb ring a bell?

The problem is that we can go around like this for another 67 years and still find no change in the current status quo. We have played this gutter-game for decades and achieved nothing.

As of July 2009, the skirmishes in areas of Jammu and Kashmir have left more than 47,000 people dead while over 3,000 people are still missing. Bilateral talks between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India were called off last month after Pakistan’s envoy met Kashmiri leaders ahead of talks. What was more surprising was that India raised a pre-condition in order to resume the talks. They said that Pakistan will not take this matter to any international forum if they want negotiations to go forth.

As quoted by a Pakistani newspaper, Pakistani officials have noted “an interesting change in India’s attitude”, saying that Indian leaders have begun to project their nation as a potential world power. But the positive news of this week is that PM Nawaz has rejected all such negative notions from his neighbouring counterpart and recapitulated the same stance on the issue of Kashmir.

‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogans might echo through the entire nation as PM Nawaz finds himself in one of the weakest political situation. But amidst this political crisis, PM Nawaz gives a strong indication that he is not ready to stoop in front of any power at the expense of the integrity of the state.

So quite ironically, for the first time in 46 days, ‘Go Nawaz Go’ does not sound grammatically awkward.

Ammar Shakeel

Ammar Shakeel

An A-Level student who dreams of pursuing a career in political sciences. He has immense interest in world politics, coupled with a high obsession of football. He tweets as @ammar04 (twitter.com/ammar04)

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