NEW YORK: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in New York on Tuesday to attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where he is expected to raise the Kashmir issue.
Abbasi’s address to the UNGA, slated for September 21, will be his debut in international diplomacy after he was sworn in as prime minister last month.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, has said that the prime minister will highlight the Kashmir issue and other issues of concern to Pakistan.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said last week that Pakistan’s decision to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN is like ‘Miyan ki daud masjid tak’, a popular Urdu proverb that means some people are unable to think beyond a fixed point.
Abbasi’s visit comes amidst tensions in ties between Pakistan and the US after President Donald Trump last month hit out at Islamabad for providing safe havens to “agents of chaos” that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has “much to lose” by harbouring terrorists.
Abbasi will meet US Vice President Mike Pence in New York at the UN headquarters later on Tuesday, the White House said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Monday met US Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon. Janjua conveyed that peace in Afghanistan is a priority for Pakistan, according to an official statement.
Abbasi is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders including those of Jordan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the United Kingdom and Nepal.
In addition to meeting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he is also scheduled to address the Council on Foreign Relations.