Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at Makkah during the recent Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit must surely have touched many hearts within the Muslim world with his potent words. Having oft-admitted he is a shy person; Imran Khan has never been known as an orator who could mesmerize his audience or hold them spell-bound through oratory.
But, the way he spoke at the OIC Summit last Saturday, it is quite evident that he has finally acquired the gift of the gab now, having sharpened his skills as a public speaker.
Public speaking has never been Imran’s forte throughout his 23-year long political career. Rather, his charisma, the panache and the aura surrounding his personality have been pulling him along as a care-free politician known for his hard-hitting and undiplomatic speeches against political adversaries.
Yes, he has been an unconventional speaker, but his recent speech at Makkah was studded with knowledge of history and that of current affairs, and one could feel that his tongue was delivering the message of his heart.
During his speech, Imran asserted that Islam had nothing to do with terrorism, slated the Western world for repeatedly blaspheming the Holy Prophet (PBUH) without respecting the feelings of 1.3 billion Muslims and viewed the West was suffering from Islamophobia.
He also took on the 57-member OIC, saying it had failed to play an effective role in safeguarding the rights and religious sentiments of the Muslims.
The Pakistani Premier articulately criticized the dichotomy and double standards of the Western world, saying that while it dealt sensitively with the issue of Holocaust to please the Jewish community, it paid no heed to the religious sentiments of the Muslims when it talked profanely about the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Imran then used his knowledge of history to add conviction to his arguments.
He opined that suspicions and misunderstandings against the Muslim world had resulted in the shooting of 50 innocent Muslims in two New Zealand’s mosques, adding that before the 9/11 episode, around 80 percent of the suicide attacks were carried out by the Tamil Tigers but no one had ever blamed Hinduism for that!
Imran held that religion had nothing to do with the actions of Tamil Tigers because it was a political struggle.
He said: “During the Second World War when the Japanese pilots blew themselves up on American ships, no one had blamed their religion for their actions.”
With all diplomatic demeanor intact, Imran then touched upon the plight of the Kashmiris confronting a repressive Indian rule, talked about the Palestinian statehood, and said Pakistan recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.