After 'Mission Kashmir', PM Imran returns home to rousing reception

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Islamabad to a grand reception on Sunday after a 10-day trip to Saudi Arabia and the United States, where he attended the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The premier was welcomed by hundreds of PTI supporters and leaders who had gathered at the capital’s airport hours before his arrival.

PTI supporters carried flags, banners and posters lauding PM Imran’s performance on what was dubbed his ‘Mission Kashmir’, and the capital’s streets were also lined with similar decorations.

Earlier on Sunday, PM Imran departed for Islamabad after a brief stay in Jeddah.

On Saturday, the prime minister started his journey back home on a commercial flight from New York’s JFK Airport, where he was seen off by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi.

The highlight of the prime minister’s US visit was his address to the UNGA session wherein he highlighted the human rights violations faced by the Kashmiri people.


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He called out New Delhi’s draconian measures in occupied Kashmir and urged global leaders to put an end to the brutalities being faced by Kashmiris.

“What will happen when the curfew is lifted? Modi says this is done for the prosperity of Kashmir. But what will happen when eight million Kashmiris come out of a lockdown and face 900,000 troops? I fear there will be a bloodbath,” PM Imran said in his emotionally-charged extemporaneous address.

“This is a test for the UN. You guaranteed the right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir,” he reminded the gathering of world leaders.

Before addressing the UNGA, PM Imran met with several world leaders on the sidelines of the session. The most high-profile meeting was with Donald Trump in which PM Imran pressed the US president to resume peace talks with the Afghan Taliban.

He also pushed Trump to urge India to lift the curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

PM Imran also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss matters of global and regional peace.

He called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Premier Mahatir Mohammad at the sidelines of the UNGA and the three joined hands to launch an English language channel dedicated to “confronting the challenges posed by Islamophobia”.

PM Imran also met with the prime ministers of the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Italy and Norway, and the vice-president of Indonesia.

The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers also called on the premier.

He addressed multiple side sessions at the UNGA, including Council on Foreign Relations, UN Clime Action Summit, UN Trusteeship Council High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, Joint Conference on Environmental Stewardship & “Eradication of Poverty” and Asia Society.

The premier also hosted a dinner for the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

Before heading to New York, PM Imran had called on Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in Jeddah and discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest, including the IOK situation.


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