PM Nawaz at UNGA, offers peace talks, but needles India on Kashmir

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly session on Wednesday, said Pakistan wants peace with India but maintained it is “not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue”.

“Confrontation should not be our destiny in South Asia. Pakistan wants peace with India.”

Nawaz asserted that peace can not be established in South Asia without resolving the Kashmir issue.

The premier reiterated Pakistan’s stance of resolving the issue of Kashmir through dialogue with India and said Pakistan has “gone the extra mile to achieve this”.

The prime minister said a new generation of Kashmiris has started a freedom struggle against India.

“Burhan Wani, the young leader murdered by Indian forces has emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement lead by Kashmiris, young and old, men and women, armed only with an undying faith and the legitimacy of their cause and the hunger for freedom in their hearts.”

“This indigenous uprising of the Kashmiris has been met, as usual, with brutal repression by India’s occupation force of over half a million soldiers,” said Nawaz.

The prime minister added that over a hundred Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds, including children and infants, blinded by shotgun pellets and over six thousand unarmed civilians injured over the past two months.

“These Indian brutalities are well documented,” asserted Nawaz.

Nawaz Sharif speaks during the 71st session of the UNGA. —AP
Nawaz Sharif speaks during the 71st session of the UNGA. —AP

The premier shed light on the atrocities committed by Indian occupation forces in India-held Kashmir (IHK) and urged the international community to act.

Nawaz also said that the current wave of unrest in IHK is the result of the heavy-handed and brutal tactics used by Indian forces in IHK, and Pakistan supports the rights of self-determination for the people of Kashmir.

The prime minister also demanded for an investigation into atrocities committed by Indian forces in IHK while speaking at the forum.

“Pakistan is not interested in an arms race with India,” said Nawaz.

The premier also urged the UN to demilitarise Jammu and Kashmir.

In this regard, the prime minister called for steps by the United Nations to undertake consultations with India, Pakistan and the true representatives of the Kashmiri people to implement the resolutions of the Security Council.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan has been the principle victim of terrorism and the country has lost thousands of civilians and security officials in terrorism related incidents.

“Pakistan has been the principle victim of terrorism, including that supported and sponsored from abroad.”

“Terrorism in now a global phenomenon which must must be addressed comprehensively, in all its form including state terrorism,” said the prime minister.

The premier on the occasion praised the results of Operation Zarb i Azb, and praised the country’s effort in undertaking comprehensive action against terror elements.

“We will not allow externally sponsored terrorism and threats of destabilisation to cause turbulence in Pakistan,” said Nawaz in a veiled reference to the reported Indian and Afghan covert actions in Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif addresses the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. —AFP
Nawaz Sharif addresses the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. —AFP

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