Crux of my speech was to warn world of what stares humanity in the face: PM Shehbaz

September 24, 2022

Climate-induced calamity Pakistan is facing today will not stay in Pakistan if no urgent action is taken, says premier

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Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif speaks at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at UN headquarters on September 23, 2022 in New York City. — AFP

LONDON: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the crux of his speech at the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York was “to warn the world of what stares humanity in the face.”

In a post on Twitter, the premier stated that in his speech delivered last night, he wanted to emphasise that the climate-induced calamity Pakistan is facing today will not stay in Pakistan if no urgent action is taken.

“Let global response not be guided by cameras but empathy and concern for humankind,” he wrote.

Commenting on his remarks regarding Pakistan-India ties, he said: “In addition to stating Pakistan's position on issues critical to our foreign policy, I made it clear to the world that Pakistan desires peaceful [and] good neighbourly relations with India.

“For this, India should reverse post-August 2019 actions [and] stop the process of demographic change,” he said.

Last night in his address to the UNGA, the premier spoke about the climate catastrophe in Pakistan that has submerged one-third of the country under water.

The rain-induced floods have affected 33 million people, including women and children — who are at high risk of health hazards.

He said that roads, bridges, and homes have been affected, while four million acres of crops have been washed away and more than a million animals have been killed.

Talking about climate change in Pakistan, the PM said that the country has not played any part to trigger this calamity as Pakistan emits less than 1% of greenhouse gases but falls in the 10 most climate-vulnerable list of countries.

"Our glaciers are melting fast, our forests are burning, and our heat waves have crossed 53 degrees, making us the hottest place on the planet," he highlighted, saying that what happened in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan.

Regarding Pakistan-India ties, he said that India must take credible steps to create an enabling environment for constructive engagement and it should "demonstrate its sincerity and willingness, to walk the path of peace and dialogue by reversing its illegal steps of 15 August 2019, and ending forth-with, the process of demographic change".


Since PM Shehbaz's address was aired last night, PTI has been criticising the premier, terming his speech a "copy-paste" version of former premier Imran Khan's speech at the same platform.

"It was a copy-paste of Imran Khan's address," former foreign minister and PTI Senior Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement.

Qureshi said Shehbaz addressed the issues of occupied Kashmir, Afghanistan, and Islamophobia in a similar manner as the PTI chairman did during his speech.

"Maybe he copy-pasted an earlier speech of Imran Khan," he said.

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