PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday accused "selected media and commentators" of "hyping up" Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech at the United Nations General Assembly's (UNGA) 74th annual session, saying that the premier did not make a strong case for the plight of occupied Kashmir's residents.
"Our selected prime minister is being appreciated on our selected media, but those who know about the plight of Kashmiris as well as the history of their struggle, understand that Pakistan's government can play a vital role for our Kashmiri brethren," Bilawal said.
The PPP chief criticised Prime Minister Imran's address at the UNGA, saying that it was a "pre-scheduled speech that we knew he will deliver before [India's August 5 move] took place".
Bilawal said that the premier should have focused solely on the Kashmir crisis instead of bringing up other issues. Bilawal also regretted that the prime minister did not emphasise the disputed status of the Kashmir territory in his speech, saying that "some people might think that you have accepted this status quo".
"This is a compromise that Pakistani people cannot tolerate," Bilawal said. The lawmaker said that while it was important to highlight the human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, the premier should also have talked about UN's resolutions that grant Kashmiri residents the right to self determination.
Bilawal repeated his party's stance that the prime minister had not done enough to highlight the situation in occupied Kashmir, that has been under an unprecedented lockdown since India repealed the region's special status on August 5.
"How many countries has he [prime minister] visited since" Article 370 was repealed, Bilawal asked.
"No matter how much our selected media and commentators laud and celebrate the premier's speech, Pakistani public does not feel the same passion, they are disappointed."
On Friday, Prime Minister Imran had lashed out against India's Hindu-nationalist government in his maiden address at the UNGA session for its atrocities against Kashmiri residents and the ongoing lockdown in occupied Kashmir. In his 50-minute speech, the premier had also discussed climate change, Islamophobia and international tax havens.
"You know how in North Korea, every time the leader makes a speech or issues a statement, people are made to line up on the streets, and they clap [for the government], anchors are made to sit before cameras on TV and they laud. This is what is happening in Pakistan," Bilawal told reporters in Sehwan. His remarks came less than an hour before Prime Minister Imran returned to Pakistan from a busy New York visit.