- Premier reminds the international community that Pakistan is not to blame for a climate crisis-fuelled disaster
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday in his address to the 77th United Nations General Assembly Session urged the world to "do more to help Pakistan" which, he said, was reeling from climate disaster, Aaj News reported.
In his address to the forum, the premier drew the world's attention to the devastation caused by floods in Pakistan.
During his address, PM Shehbaz said that he was worried that after the conclusion of the 77th session of the UNGA, the world's attention may shift to other issues.
"Will we be left alone, to cope with a crisis we did not create?" the premier asked, reminding the international community that Pakistan is not to blame for a climate crisis-fuelled disaster.
He said people in Pakistan were asking for reasons for the destruction caused by floods. “The undeniable truth is that the calamity has not been triggered by anything we have done,” he said.
“It is time to ask why… time to ask what must be done. Our forests are burning. More heatwaves are coming. We had a monster monsoon. It was the monsoon on steroids as was described by the UN secretary-general. Pakistan emits less than 1 percent of greenhouse gases.”
He noted that Pakistan had never seen such a devastating example of global warming.
“For 40 days and 40 nights, biblical flood poured on us. Even today, huge swathes of the country are still underwater. 33 million people including women and children are at high risk of health hazards. More than 1,500 of my people have gone from the world including 400 children. Far more are in peril.
Talking about Pakistan's ties with India, he said: “We look for peace with all our neighbours including India.”
“We in Pakistan remain consistent for peace in South Asia," he said, stressing: "We are neighbours, the choice is ours if we live in peace or war. It's now up to us to resolve our differences like peaceful neighbours.”
The premier said that both India and Pakistan were "armed to the teeth," emphasising that peace was the only way forward.
"War is not an option,” the premier said.
Earlier on Friday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged the international community to provide urgent and adequate assistance to countries suffering from the impact of climate change.
While addressing the G77 and China annual meeting of Foreign Ministers in New York, Bilawal said that Pakistan has suffered massively due to climate change.
He said Pakistan emits less than one percent of global greenhouse emissions, yet it was the epicenter of the impacts of climate change.
The foreign minister, once again, reminded the forum that one-third of Pakistan was under water – a catastrophe caused by torrential rains-induced floods.
“Over 15,00 people have been killed and thousands more injured,” Bilawal said, adding that more than 30 million people have been affected and six million are absolutely destitute.
FM Bilawal called for mobilising urgent humanitarian, economic and financial support to the more than 50 developing countries which are in economic distress.