This UN handout photo shows Imran Khan, prime minister of the Pakistan, as he virtually addresses the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on 25 September 2020, in New York
This UN handout photo shows Imran Khan, prime minister of the Pakistan, as he virtually addresses the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, on 25 September 2020, in New YorkAFP

The Indian delegate at the United Nations General Assembly session on Friday walked out in protest when Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan began attacking India in his speech at the high-level meeting, reports Indian news agency IANS.

He also criticised the wilful provocation of incitement to hate and violence by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), reports AFP.

India's First Secretary Mijito Vinito, who was sitting on the second seat in the first row of the Assembly chamber, stood up and left as soon as Khan turned on India by focusing on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

In a tweet, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti decried Khan’s attacks as “warmongering and obfuscation”.

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Khan’s pre-recorded speech was screened at the General Assembly chamber during the annual meeting stymied this year by the COVID-19 precautions.

A new element tucked into Khan’s 34-minute speech, more than a third of which was devoted to India, was a call for the Security Council to send its peacekeeping force to Kashmir by drawing a parallel to East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste.

We stress that willful provocations and incitement to hate and violence must be universally outlawed. This assembly should declare an international day to combat Islamophobia and build a coalition to fight the scourge
Imran Khan, Pakistan prime minister

“The Security Council must prevent a disaster conflict (in Kashmir) and secure the implementation of its own resolutions, as it did in the case of East Timor,” Khan said.

The Security Council authorised international intervention and sent peacekeepers in the aftermath of the Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony, but a parallel would require such a force to clear Pakistanis in Kashmir in defiance of its resolution demanding their withdrawal.

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Khan also declared a thinly veiled support for the attacks on India by the militants.

“The government and the people of Pakistan are committed to standing by and supporting the Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” he said.

Khan was silent on the persecution of the Uighur minority in China, Pakistan’s patron, and Beijing’s verified creation of camps for internment of the Muslim minority and campaign to eradicate their cultural and religious identity

To preemptively deny the involvement in any Pakistan-sponsored attacks on India, Khan said, “We have consistently sensitised the world community about a false flag operation.”

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

In his tweet, Tirumurti said, “PM of Pakistan’s statement a new diplomatic low at 75th UN General Assembly. Another litany of vicious falsehood, personal attacks, warmongering and obfuscation of Pakistan’s persecution of its own minorities and of its cross-border terrorism. Befitting Right of Reply awaits.”

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At the start of his speech with religious platitudes, Khan declared his commitment to an even more stringent theocratic state before accusing India of moving away from secularism.

“We envisage Naya Pakistan to be modelled on the principles of the state of Medina, established by the Holy Prophet Mohammed,” he declared.

Later, the prime minister of the Islamic republic, which constitutionally denies full citizenship rights to non-Muslims as well as Muslims of the Ahmadiyya sect, asserted that India is giving up on the secularism of Mahatma Gandhi and is moving towards a “Hindutva” state.

“The secularism of Gandhi and Nehru has been replaced by the dream of creating a Hindu Rashtra,” he asserted.

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Khan’s attacks on the RSS is to try to build up support for his cause, which has so far seen only Turkish support, by linking it to Nazism as his attacks on India have not found any backing.

Khan was silent on the persecution of the Uighur minority in China, Pakistan’s patron, and Beijing’s verified creation of camps for internment of the Muslim minority and campaign to eradicate their cultural and religious identity.

But he claimed that according to “reports”, there were camps in India filled with Muslims.

He also accused India of changing the demography of Kashmir and suppressing its cultural identity.

He invoked the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and said the Council should enforce them.

However, the main resolution on Kashmir -- No. 47 -- demands that Pakistan should withdraw its troops and personnel from Kashmir.

Condemns Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Imran Khan condemned the fresh publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) by a French satirical weekly, urging UN efforts against what he called rising Islamophobia.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Khan said that rising global nationalism has “accentuated Islamophobia” and said that Muslims “continue to be targeted with impunity in many countries.”

“Incidents in Europe including republication of blasphemous sketches by Charlie Hebdo are recent examples,” Khan said.

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“We stress that willful provocations and incitement to hate and violence must be universally outlawed.

“This assembly should declare an international day to combat Islamophobia and build a coalition to fight the scourge.”

Charlie Hebdo, known for its irreverent humor and absolutist belief in free speech, has repeatedly stirred anger in the Islamic world by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

Many Muslims consider any physical depiction of their prophet to be blasphemous.

Twelve people were killed in an attack by Islamist gunmen on Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris on 7 January 2015.

In a defiant gesture timed with the trial this month of accomplices to the massacre, Charlie Hebdo reprinted some of the caricatures.

On Friday, a man with a cleaver wounded two people outside the newspaper's former offices in Paris before being arrested by police.

Blasphemy is an especially sensitive issue in Pakistan, which has seen mob or vigilante killings of people accused of disrespecting Islam.