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Ditto! Imran Khan UNGA 2020 speech almost replica of 2019 litany

Khan’s speech was ordered almost no differently from last year: A wide swipe at the world, “corrupt elites”, tree planting, Islamophobia, RSS, Modi, Kashmir and then more Kashmir.

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United Nations, Sep 26 : If you blinked, you could have mistaken Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as the one he delivered in 2019.

Retrofitted with pandemic era phrases, nips and tucks, Khan belted out what was effectively an abridged version of last year’s gig, at half past noon on Friday.

The layering of the two years’ speeches seems like a Khan riff on a wild moment from recent US politics.

“Person, woman, man, camera, TV” was a phrase that US President Donald Trump used as an example of a question from a cognitive test he took. Trump explained that remembering the words in order got extra points.

Khan’s speech was ordered almost no differently from last year: A wide swipe at the world, “corrupt elites”, tree planting, Islamophobia, RSS, Modi, Kashmir and then more Kashmir.

The Prime Minister’s address was rescheduled from a late afternoon EST slot to the 14th spot in the morning session, which aligned with traditional evening primetime hours in the Pakistan area.

Framed against a flag festooned backdrop and a painting of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the wall behind him, Khan sat at a desk amidst a haze of green coloured props and rattled off a bucket list of macro-level grievances. This was the warm-up routine, quite in line with last year.

Khan’s speech began at 12.31 p.m. local time. Ten minutes in came the big leap. At 12.42 p.m., his claims on carbon emissions and the promise to plant 10 billion trees came to a screeching halt so that some scraps of geopolitical red meat could be flung around.

A side by side reading of Khan’s 2019 and 2020 speeches show up a fairly predictable pattern in the text flow. The new inserts were mostly about the coronavirus and some chunks from last year’s 50 minute speech were cut out entirely.

This year, Khan made no mention of women and Hijab, unlike last time when he waded in. “A woman can take off her clothes in some countries but she cannot put more on? And why has this happened? Because certain western leaders equated Islam with terrorism,” he said early in his 2019 speech.

Sample this excerpt from 2019: “…We planted a billion trees in five years. Now we are targeting 10 billion trees.”

Khan’s 2020 lines have minor edits, some adjectives tossed in: “We have launched an extremely ambitious program to plant 10 billion trees in the next three years as a contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change.”

In 2019, he ‘explained’ to the UNGA the concept of the RSS: “I have to explain what the RSS is. Mr Modi is a ‘life member’ of RSS. An organisation inspired by Hitler and Mussolini. They believed in racial superiority the same way that the Nazi’s believed in the supremacy of the Aryan race.”

Here’s how Khan took off on the RSS on Friday, in the context of “Islamophobia”: “The reason behind this is the RSS ideology that unfortunately rules India today. This extremist ideology was founded in the 1920s, the RSS founding fathers were inspired by the Nazis and adopted their concepts of racial purity and supremacy.”

Next on the Khan rundown: Kashmir. That stayed in the same slot, after climate change, RSS and Modi.

The 2019 readout: “Now I want to move on to talk about Kashmir. When we came into power; my first priority was that Pakistan would be that country that would try its best to bring peace” and “This is the time when you, the UN, must urge India to lift the curfew; to free the 13,000 Kashmiris who have disappeared meanwhile and this is the time when the UN must insist on Kashmir’s right to self determination.

“Mr. President, For over 72 years, India has illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir against the wishes of the Kashmiri people, and in blatant violation of the resolutions of the Security Council.”

“India is playing a dangerous game of upping the ante against Pakistan in a nuclearised environment,” he added.

In 2019, it was, “if a conventional war starts between two countries, nuclear countries…anything could happen”.

India slammed Khan’s 34-minute “litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, warmongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities”.

“The only crowning glory that this country has to show to the world for the last 70 years is terrorism, ethnic cleansing, majoritarian fundamentalism, and clandestine nuclear trade,” India said in its right of reply late Friday.

The main resolution on Kashmir – No. 47 – demands that Pakistan withdraw its troops and personnel from Kashmir.

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Zagreb, Oct 28 Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Croatia’s National Civil Protection Headquarters has announced new measures.

The measures include mandatory physical distancing, a ban on all public events with more than 50 people, the new limit of the number of people attending weddings and funerals and the provision that public events and gatherings can last up to 10 p.m. while weddings until midnight, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sports competitions can be held without spectators, according to the measures, which banned the sales of alcoholic beverages from midnight to 6 a.m.

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Rawalpindi cops banned from posting on TikTok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday

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Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday.

The police department of the Pakistan twin city has warned that if a video of any officer goes viral on social media, irrespective of whether it is TikTok, Facebook or YouTube, strict departmental action will be taken, The Express Tribune reported.

The new rules were communicated on Monday in a letter issued by Rawalpindi CPO Ahsan Younas to divisional SPs, circle officers and station house officers.

The letter stated that posting videos on social media and going viral presents a negative image of the department.

After the video went viral, at least one officer has been suspended.

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India

India, US need to jointly confront China’s threats to security: Pompeo in New Delhi

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday in the national capital said that India and the US need to jointly confront China’s threats to security in the Indian subcontinent and the Indo-Pacific

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday in the national capital said that India and the US need to jointly confront China’s threats to security in the Indian subcontinent and the Indo-Pacific.

Speaking at the third India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi, amidst the ongoing face-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Pompeo discussed several issues from “cooperating on defeating the pandemic that originated in Wuhan, to confronting the Chinese Communist Party’s threats to security and freedom, to promoting peace and stability throughout the region”.

As per an official statement of the US government, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar at the meeting raised the issue of security threat India is facing from China. “In the area of defence we are challenged by reckless aggression on our northern borders,” he said at the bilateral dialogue.

The meeting assumes significance because the US secretaries of the Trump administration travelled to New Delhi amidst Coronavirus pandemic even as an intense ongoing campaigning for the Presidential elections due on November 3 was underway in the US.

“Our friendship and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific was clearly, clearly highly on display when we were in Tokyo this past week and a half for the Quad meeting that Minister Jaishankar and I had with our Australian and Japanese friends earlier this month,” Pompeo told his counterpart.

The US secretary of state said, “Today is real opportunity for two great democracies like ours to grow closer, as I said on my trip to India last year when I called for a new age of ambition in our relationship. I think we’ve delivered on that over this past year. There is much more work to do for sure.”

Together, India and the US are building a better future for “our people based on our shared set of values and our cultures, our defence ties, our scientific collaboration, and mutual prosperity. I thank you for your leadership to each of you to build what ought to be a defining partnership of democracies in the 21st century,” he added.

Jaishankar, at the 2+2 Dialogue said that as the global economy has taken a massive hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian government has to quickly make up for the losses as economic downturn will have both domestic and external consequences.

According to the US Department of State statement, Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper, at the meeting with his counterpart Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pointed out that Tuesday marked the 15th anniversary of the first US-India Defence framework.

“We have strengthened our defence and security partnership considerably since then, especially over the past year, during which we advanced our regional security, military-to-military, and information-sharing cooperation. Our focus now must be on institutionalizing and regularizing our cooperation to meet the challenges of the day and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific well into the future,” he said.

The two sides discussed key opportunities to expand their efforts on “regional security concerns” and to advance their “defence priorities”, to include increasing information sharing and mutual logistics operations between their militaries.

Jaishankar in his remarks said that at a time when it is particularly important to uphold a rules-based international order, the ability of India and the US to work closely in defence and foreign policy has a larger resonance. “Together we can make a real difference when it comes to regional and global challenges, whether it is in respecting territorial integrity, promoting maritime domain awareness, counterterrorism, or creating prosperity,” he added.

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