'Impassioned, forceful': Twitterati unanimous in praise for PM Imran's remarks on Kashmir at UNGA

"Even haters are advised to give credit where it is due — and it is due."
Published September 27, 2019

As Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered an impassioned speech at the United Nations, albeit one that ran over the allotted 15 minutes, Twitterati in Pakistan shared their views on his remarks, which ranged from Kashmir and Islamophobia to climate change and corruption by the elite.

The highlight of his speech, which ran for over 45 minutes, was Kashmir. In strong words, the premier reminded the world that if not paid attention to, India's actions in occupied Kashmir would lead to a bloodbath.

"Once the curfew is lifted, Kashmiris will be out in the streets. And what will the 900,000 soldiers do? They will shoot them,” said the premier, without mincing any words.

AFP reporter Issam Ahmed was of the opinion that the prime minister highlighted the Kashmir issue "very forcefully and got several rounds of applause (not clear how much was the Pak delegation but I think at least some were others, Modi didn't get any)".

"Remains to be seen if other countries think he went too far with the war rhetoric," Ahmed said, referring to Prime Minister Imran's comments on war with India.

“When a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, it will have consequences far beyond the borders. It will have consequences for the world,” Imran had cautioned in his speech at the UN. "That’s not a threat, it’s a fair worry. Where are we headed?”

Activist and lawyer JIbran Nasir commended the prime minister for explaining the Kashmir issue on the international platform.

"PM Imran convincingly used #UNGA to not only explain reasons for atrocities in #Kashmir by India under BJP & brutal conditions there but also rightly expressed his fears of a fallout. Pakistan isn't a big market like India. Now it's a matter of conscience for world community," he said.

Journalist Iftikhar Firdous called the speech "made from the heart. Impassioned to the core!".

Salman Masood, the Pakistan correspondent for The New York Times, also called the speech "impassioned" but said some parts would "raise some eyebrows in the West".

"But for the domestic audience, it has hit a home run."

Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas termed the UN address "quite impressive".

"The Kashmir portion of Imran Khan's speech was pretty good. Made a powerful case," said journalist Khurram Hussain.

Dawn Magazines Editor Hasan Zaidi, while noting the "initial stumbles", remarked the leader "had a strong last stretch".

"Emotional stuff but that’s okay, can’t fault it. Kashmir deserves some emotionalism."

His comments on money laundering and corruption by the elite, however, did not go down well with people, with some equating it to Imran's jalsas back home.

PPP's Senator Sherry Rehman questioned why the prime minister gave time to offshore accounts in Pakistan in his speech, saying: "His own party has them!"

"Then more on army training jihadis etc! Why? Then long rambling history lesson! Red time light beeping and he begins so late on Kashmir!! This is not a container!"

Senior journalist and analyst Zahid Hussain also referenced to the 'container'.

"Imran khan is on [a] container. Sad."

Analyst Michael Kugelman praised the first part of the speech for striking the right notes. "He showcased his government's efforts to tackle shared global threats like climate change and corruption."

He, however, remarked that the "partisan dig at Pakistan's 'ruling elite' — eg non-PTI — was a bit awkward on a global platform".

Journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi put forth her take, saying: "The highlight was Kashmir in which he spoke passionately and effectively. Started well on climate change but rambled a little on money laundering and Islamaphobia."

Overall, it appears that the prime minister's trip to the US, during which his primary focus has been highlighting the plight of people in occupied Kashmir, has been successful.

Journalist Zarrar Khuhro, praising the premier "for shining on the international stage", summed it up saying: "It's been a marathon tour with countless speaking engagements and interviews with pointed Questions. Played well indeed. Even haters are advised to give credit where it is due, and it is due."