Pakistan will stand by Kashmiris even if the world doesn't, says PM upon return from UN

Updated September 28, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi return to Pakistan after a busy US visit. — Photo courtesy PM Imran's Instagram
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi return to Pakistan after a busy US visit. — Photo courtesy PM Imran's Instagram
Prime Minister Imran Khan upon his return to Pakistan from a busy US visit, where he attended UNGA's 74th annual session. — Photo courtesy PM Imran's Instagram
Prime Minister Imran Khan upon his return to Pakistan from a busy US visit, where he attended UNGA's 74th annual session. — Photo courtesy PM Imran's Instagram
"First of all, I thank my nation. The way you prayed for me, for us to be able to present Kashmir's case before the UN," said the prime minister upon his arrival at Islamabad airport on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
"First of all, I thank my nation. The way you prayed for me, for us to be able to present Kashmir's case before the UN," said the prime minister upon his arrival at Islamabad airport on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leaders, supporters gathered on Sunday at Islamabad airport to welcome PM Imran from UN trip. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leaders, supporters gathered on Sunday at Islamabad airport to welcome PM Imran from UN trip. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leaders, including chief organiser Saifullah Nyazee and Senator Faisal Javed, waiting at Islamabad airport on Sunday to welcome the prime minister. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leaders, including chief organiser Saifullah Nyazee and Senator Faisal Javed, waiting at Islamabad airport on Sunday to welcome the prime minister. — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi returned to Islamabad on Sunday after wrapping up their trip to the United States to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

A large number of party workers and supporters gathered at the capital's airport to welcome the premier.

PTI leaders, supporters gathered on Sunday at Islamabad airport to welcome PM Imran from UN trip. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leaders, supporters gathered on Sunday at Islamabad airport to welcome PM Imran from UN trip. — DawnNewsTV

Banners and posters, some praising Imran Khan and others highlighting the plight of Kashmiris who remain under an India-imposed lockdown, were put up at the Islamabad airport and on the main thoroughfares in the city.

Loud cheers could be heard as the prime minister made his way to the main hall to speak to the people.

"First of all, I thank my nation. The way you prayed for me, for us, to be able to present Kashmir's case before the UN," began the prime minister.

"I especially thank Bushra bibi because she prayed a lot for us."

He asked the people to remember that Pakistan is standing with Kashmir. "Whether the world stands with Kashmiris or not, Pakistan is standing by them.

"And we are standing by them because we want to please Allah."

Speaking of the lockdown which has been in place since August 5 in occupied Kashmir, he said: "India has trapped eight million people under a curfew.

"I want to remind you that a struggle goes through highs and low. There are good times and bad times — ghabrana nahi hai (don't worry). Because Kashmiris are looking towards you, and God willing, they will win, they will get independence.

"All Kashmiris, their women and children, are looking to Pakistan and its people. We will expose this fascist Modi's government, this Muslim hating government, on every platform."

"I've said this before to you," said Prime Minister Imran: "Koshish insaan karta hai, kamyabi Allah deta hai (effort is made by man, success is given by God)."

Earlier, senior leaders of PTI welcomed the premier and Foreign Minister Qureshi.

PTI leaders wait at Islamabad airport on Sunday to welcome the prime minister. — DawnNewsTV
PTI leaders wait at Islamabad airport on Sunday to welcome the prime minister. — DawnNewsTV

Among the first to greet the premier were Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, chief spokesperson Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, senior leader Asad Umar and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail.

Ahead of the premier's arrival in Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Awan had announced that members of the party and leaders would give a grand reception to the premier.

Read more: PM Imran minces no words at UN, calls out Modi govt for oppression of Kashmiris

PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen had also called on people to give Prime Minister Imran a "hero's welcome", saying: "PM IK fought Kashmir's case like a true hero. His unequivocal speech at the UNGA helped transform Pakistan's image globally."

After Imran's maiden visit to the US as prime minister in July, he received a jubilant welcome by senior party leaders and PTI workers amid slogans and applause. His return had coincided with the first anniversary of the 2018 general election.

Technical issue with plane

The prime minister departed from New York on Saturday onboard Saudi Airlines flight number SV20 and reached Jeddah earlier today, where he had a brief layover.

On Friday evening, the prime minister had taken off from New York's John F Kennedy International Airport in a special jet placed at his disposal by the Saudi government, but it flew back in a couple of hours to have a technical fault fixed.

The prime minister, who led the Pakistan delegation at the UNGA, had waited at the airport for some time while technicians tried to fix the fault, but more work was needed and they decided to complete it by Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Lodhi had escorted the prime minister back to the Roosevelt Hotel where he had stayed during his hectic seven-day trip.

Mission Kashmir

During his “Mission Kashmir” visit to New York, the prime minister addressed the 193-member UNGA, attended UN summit meetings, met a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the session, including United States President Donald Trump, addressed think-tanks and interacted with international media.

His speech at UN was widely well received in Pakistan.

Before leaving for JFK for his first attempt to fly out of New York, the prime minister met UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday and discussed the Kashmir situation with him as well.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said Imran commended Guterres “for his clear articulation of the UN position on Kashmir dispute”.

The UN chief during the meeting reiterated his deep concern over the human rights and humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir, the press release said.

Guterres said that he would “remain engaged on the issue” and conveyed that his offer to help facilitate a peaceful solution of the Kashmir issue continued to stand.

The prime minister also presented photographs of a sculpture by Pakistani artist Amin Gulgee, which is now placed in the UN rose garden.

“This very beautiful monument of a great artist, Amin Gulgee, will remain forever in the UN premises,” said a statement issued by the secretary general’s office after the presentation ceremony.