Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has called for the formation of an international alliance to keep in check the “rough behaviour” of India after the murder of a Sikh leader in Canada left relations between New Delhi and Ottawa in tatters.
Addressing a news conference at the Pakistan Mission in New York on Friday, the prime minister gave examples of how Pakistan had been a victim of such state-sponsored terrorism and had shared evidence at different global and multilateral forums about the role of the Indian state.
Terming it as a first-of-its-kind event after World War I, Kakar said an Asian country staged a murder on Canadian soil and its impacts were being felt across the Western countries who now realised how India was persecuting its minorities like Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims.
He also gave an example of how the state of Pakistan ’effectively responded“ to the Jaranwala incident but a similar incident like the Manipur violence saw the Indian state act as a “spectator” and “accomplice” in the violence that killed hundreds of people.
The premier added that he as well as Chief justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa who was yet to assume the role, visited Jaranwala and tried to mitigate the situation.
PM Kakar stated that the persecution of Muslims being carried out in India-Occupied Kashmir was aptly described as “genocide”, which he also mentioned in his address at the 78th UN General Assembly a day ago.
He stated that thousands of Kashmiris had been killed and women were raped, besides the extrajudicial killing of innocent Kashmiris.
IMF ‘very appreciative’ of govt’s steps
PM Kakar also termed his discussion with the IMF managing director very constructive, adding that he hoped that the upcoming mandated government would carry on the economic plan.
To another query, he said the caretaker government had conducted an administrative intervention against the sugar and wheat mafias with effective measures.
“There was no dearth of these commodities in the country as different edible items were readily available,” he said, adding that prices of certain commodities were linked with international prices and that the caretaker government was striving to provide relief to the masses.
“The IMF was very appreciative of the interim government’s steps over illegal trade of dollars,” he added. “IMF did not demand anything, rather the caretaker government was giving them confidence and would abide by the agreements.”
The premier said the newly elected government would further negotiate with the IMF according to their manifesto.
Meetings with business community in US
Shedding light on Pak-US ties, PM Kakar said both countries had very constructive historical ties which would be further strengthened. “The Pakistani diaspora was contributing to the US and playing their role in community building.”
The prime minister stressed that Pakistan had an exclusive identity and it should be seen through its prism rather than any regional or other contexts.
In reply to a question, the interim premier said that he also held meetings with different business bodies in the US that showed interest in the economic revival plans in Pakistan, including privatisation and the Special Investment Facilitation Council.
The interim prime minister said they had multifaceted engagements with the Afghan interim government and hoped the outcome of these engagements would be beneficial for the two countries.
In reply to a question, PM Kakar said Pakistan would take all steps to protect its territory and people whenever any need arose. He further said Pakistan respected the territorial sovereignty and integrity of Afghanistan.
To another question, the premier stated that there were around five million refugees in Pakistan, out of which around 2.8m were legal while the rest were without any legal document.
Therefore, the government had decided to repatriate them and an administrative intervention was being made for the purpose, the prime minister added.
Rubbishing the notion of an isolated Pakistan, PM Kakar said that during his interactions with world leaders, they had found a growing interest in Pakistan. He also highlighted his engagements on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.
Meanwhile, about his meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the premier said both leaders discussed mutual priorities and held beneficial negotiations.
‘ECP did not ban any party’
To another question, PM Kakar replied that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was mandated to hold the general elections and the final date would be announced soon.
He said all registered political parties had the right to take part in the polls as the ECP did not ban any party from the process. The prime minister assured that the caretaker government would carry out fair treatment to all the political parties.
Rubbishing the notion of any victimisation, the premier said anyone involved in the violence against the state would be dealt with under the law of the land as Pakistan was a sovereign state.
On the matter of the Russia-Ukraine war, PM Kakar said Pakistan wanted constructive engagement with Russia and both countries had immense potential for enhanced economic cooperation.
However, he highlighted that Pakistan did not favour a military solution to any conflict and instead advocated dialogue for settlement.