‘Not accountable to any govt’: Kakar on alleged human rights violations in Pakistan

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Pakistan Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar addresses world leaders during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 22, 2023, in New York City. — AFP
Pakistan Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar addresses world leaders during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 22, 2023, in New York City. — AFP 
  • “We are not accountable to any govt,” PM Kakar asserts.
  • Premier says Pakistan facing terrorism for last 2 decades.
  • He also questions India’s handling of its minorities.

NEW YORK: In the wake of the allegations of human rights violations in the country, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq has firmly asserted that Pakistan is not accountable to any government or congressman.

The premier’s remarks came in response to a question posed by a journalist during a press conference — following his speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session — asking him about the engagements of Pakistanis in the United States with congressmen in relation to the human rights abuses and arrests in Pakistan.

“We are not accountable to any government; we are not accountable to any congressman — absolutely not!” PM Kakar said, further highlighting the robust bond between Pakistan and the US.

He was also questioned about the recent arrests, particularly those of women, which came in the wake of the crackdown against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after its Chairman Imran Khan’s party members and supporters violently reacted to his arrest in May this year.

The prime minister said the country’s laws are impartial, not favouring any gender, and apply to all citizens equally.

PM Kakar also spoke about the resurgence of terrorist threats by dangerous entities such as Tehreek-e-Taliban (Pakistan) and Daesh was a matter of grave concern for Pakistan and the entire international community.

“Pakistan is facing terrorism for the last two decades,” he said.

The premier stressed that a stable Afghanistan continued to remain an important foreign policy priority for Pakistan and the United States. Kakar said we are holding constructive dialogue with the interim Afghan government.

“We know how to defend and protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said, and also highlighted that Pakistan has always respected the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and we will continue doing so.

Questioning India’s handling of minorities and the human rights violations in its wake, the prime minister said: “We must counter all terror without discrimination, including the rising threat posed by far-right extremist and fascist groups such as Hindutva-inspired extremists, threatening genocide against Indian Muslims and Christians alike.”

The prime minister also lamented the large number of people killed in Manipur. He added New Delhi needed to oppose state terrorism and address the root causes of terrorism such as poverty, injustice and foreign occupation, and distinguish genuine freedom struggle from terrorism.

Regarding the brutal killing of a Sikh leader in Canada which came as a rude shock to the world, PM Kakar said that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi-backed ideologues of Hindutva are becoming emboldened in a manner that they are now going beyond the region.

Speaking about his meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the UNGA, Kakar termed it a multilateral meeting that focused on a large number of bilateral and multilateral interests.

Commenting on the Jaranwala tragedy at home in Pakistan, the premier said the government took speedy action as a responsible state against the perpetrators of the tragic incident.

He also spoke about the general election announcement by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), clarifying the interim government’s role of supporting the electoral body and not imposing restrictions on any political group.

ECP has not banned any political party, PM Kakar said, highlighting that the election watchdog’s mandate is to conduct polls. He shared that the date of the elections will be announced soon. But also asserted that those behind the May 9 violence would face legal action.

Commenting on the economic situation in the country, the prime minister said foreign investors are interested in investing in Pakistan because of the government’s new policies, highlighting that attracting foreign investments in all sectors was the interim set-up’s priority.

Kakar said the government believed in a no-holds-barred foreign investment regime and had constituted the Special Investment Facilitation Council to facilitate foreign investors, bolster their confidence and expedite project implementation in priority areas of agriculture, IT, energy and minerals and mining.

He added there is no shortage of essential commodities and we have stopped the hoarding of flour and sugar with an effective crackdown and policy measures.

Earlier during his speech addressing the UNGA, the premier discussed the humanitarian situation in occupied Kashmir, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring nations such as Afghanistan and Iran, and the forthcoming elections in the country.

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