Imran Khan UN
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. Image Credit: AP

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday has described the scourge of radicalism in every society.

During his speech at the 74th session of the UNGA, the Pakistani premier said: "We all know that marginalisation leads to radicalisation. We must address this issue...Western leaders equated terrorism with Islam."

"In all human communities, there are radicals, there are liberals, and there are moderates. All human communities ... no religion preaches radicalism. The basis of all religions is compassion and justice, which differentiate us from the animal kingdom," Khan said.

In all human communities, there are radicals, there are liberals, and there are moderates. All human communities ... no religion preaches radicalism. The basis of all religions is compassion and justice, which differentiate us from the animal kingdom.

- Pakistani PM Imran Khan' speech at UN General Assembly, on Friday

"Terrorism has nothing to do with any religion," Khan said. "No one did reasearch that before 9-11, the majority of suicide bombers in the world were Tamil Tigers. They were Hindus."

"No one blamed Hinduism. And quite rightly. What does Hinduism got to do with what desperate people were doing in Sri Lanka?" he said.

"We all know, we've seen films about Japanese 'Kamikaze' pilots at the end of the Second World War doing suicide attacks. No one blames their religion. But here we were, trying to prove we were moderates and not explaining it to the West," he said.

We all know, we've seen films about Japanese 'Kamikaze' pilots at the end of the Second World War doing suicide attacks. No one blames their religion. But here we were, trying to prove we were moderates and not explaining it to the West.

- Pakistani PM Imran Khan' speech at UN General Assembly, on Friday

PM Khan said there is a misunderstanding in the West regarding Islam, which is causing Islamophobia in the world.

"There are 1.3 billion Muslims in this world. Millions of Muslims are living in the US and European countries as minorities. Islamophobia, since 9/11 has grown at an alarming pace. Human communities are supposed to live together with understanding among each other. But Islamophobia is creating a division."

"Muslim women wearing hijabs has become an issue in some countries as if a hijab is some kind of weapon. This is happening because of Islamophobia," Imran Khan said.

Muslim women wearing hijabs has become an issue in some countries as if a hijab is some kind of weapon. This is happening because of Islamophobia.

- Pakistani PM Imran Khan' speech at UN General Assembly, on Frida

"Imran Khan said that after 9/11 attack, Islamophobia grew at an arming rate. Why did it start? Because certain western leaders equated terrorism with Islam, calling it Islamic terrorism and radical Islam. What is radical Islam? There is only one Islam," Imran Khan said.

"This Islamic radicalism has been the main reason behind Islamophobia. This has caused pain to Muslims," Imran Khan said.

In his speech, PM Khan raised the possibility of a "bloodbath" in Jammu & Kashmir when India lifts the "inhuman" curfew.

"Women, children, sick people are locked in animals, and it's arrogance that has blinded him from the fact that...what is going to happen when the curfew is lifted?"

He also warned of a spectre of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

"Nuclear war it not a threat, it's a fair worry," Khan said during his UN speech.

During his speech, PM Khan said India’s actions would radicalise Kashmiris and increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

“There will be a reaction to this, Pakistan will be blamed, two nuclear-armed countries will come face to face like we came in February,” he said.

There will be a reaction to this, Pakistan will be blamed, two nuclear-armed countries will come face to face like we came in February.

- Pakistani PM Imran Khan at the UN General Assembly

“If a conventional war starts, anything could happen. But supposing a country seven times smaller than its neighbour is faced with a choice: either you surrender or you fight for your freedom till death. We will fight and when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end it will have consequences far beyond the borders, it will have consequences for the world.”

PM Imran Khan
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during his speech at the UN General Assembly Image Credit: Screengrab

On insults against the Prophet (peace be upon him)

“You heard that Islam is supposed to be against minorities. Let me just make this clear: In Islam, the Prophet announced that everyone was free to practice his religion. It was a sacred duty to protect the places of worship of all religions. He announced that every person was equal in front of the law, whatever his religion or his colour…So when a Muslim society is unjust to its minorities, it is going against the religion of Islam and our Prophet, peace be upon him.”

So it’s important to understand this: The Prophet lives in our hearts. When he is ridiculed, when he is insulted, it hurts… We human beings understand one thing: The pain of the heart is far, far, far more hurtful than physical pain. And that’s why the Muslims react to this.

- PM Imran Khan, speaking at the UN General Assembly

“So it’s important to understand this: The Prophet lives in our hearts. When he is ridiculed, when he is insulted, it hurts… We human beings understand one thing: The pain of the heart is far, far, far more hurtful than physical pain. And that’s why the Muslims react (to insults against the Prophet).”

“I always thought that, if I had this stage, I would try to explain this to the world community…especially to the Western community. Because, having lived in the West, people didn’t understand this. When I first went as a teenager to England, there was a comedy film on Jesus Christ.”

“We need to explain that, look, in a human community, we must be sensitive to what causes pain to another human being. We have in the western society, and quite rightly, the Holocaust treated with sensitivity, because it gives the Jewish community pain. That’s all we ask: Do not use freedom of speech to cause us pain by insulting our Holy Prophet. That’s all we want.”

We need to explain that, look, in a human community, we must be sensitive to what causes pain to another human being. We have in the western society, and quite rightly, the Holocaust treated with sensitivity, because it gives the Jewish community pain. That’s all we ask: Do not use freedom of speech to cause us pain by insulting our Holy Prophet. That’s all we want.

- PM Imran Khan at the UN General Assembly

'Mission Kashmir'

As part of his 'Mission Kashmir' to draw global attention on the issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the Kashmir Study Group during a meeting with its leaders to highlight the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which he said "poses a grave threat to regional peace and security".

Khan met with the founder of Kashmir Study Group, Farooq Kathwari, who called on him in New York and both discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu & Kashmir.

Khan urged Kathwari to outline the issue of India's revocation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir, which Pakistan has termed as "illegal annexation", and the alleged human rights violations there, in order to "expose the real face of fascist Modi-led Hindu nationalist government in front of the world".

Kathwari had earlier served as member of the US President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans.

Khan is in new York on a week-long visit to attend the UN General Assembly session and hold high-level meetings with world leaders.