New Delhi/New York: The Indian Government on Thursday rejected Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s proposed four-point agenda to diffuse existing tensions between it and Pakistan, saying that what was needed was a de-terrorising of Pakistan to ensure that peace prevailed in South Asia.
Responding to Nawaz Sharif’s annual address at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a tweet that de-militarising Kashmir is not the answer for achieving peace, but de-terrorising Pakistan is.
On Sharif describing Pakistan as the primary victim of terrorism, Mr. Swarup said, Pakistan is a victim of its own policies and the prime sponsor of terrorism.
Asserting that Pakistan’s instability arises from its breeding of terrorists, Mr. Swarup said, blaming neighbours is not a solution.
Reacting to Sharif’s remarks that Palestinians and Kashmiris are oppressed by foreign occupation, the spokesman said that the Pakistan Prime Minister got the foreign occupation right, but the occupier wrong.
He said, India urges early vacation of Pakistan- occupied Kashmir.
On Wednesday, Sharif had proposed a four-point agenda to diffuse tensions between his country and India with regard to the Kashmir issue as well as the frequent reported incidents of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Working Boundary (IWB) that separates the two nations in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Cooperation, not confrontation, should define our relationship with India. Yet today ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary are intensifying, causing civilian deaths including women and children. I want to use the opportunity today to propose a new peace initiative with India, starting with measures that are the simplest to implement,” he said.
He suggested that Pakistan and India formalise and respect the November 26, 2003 understanding for a complete ceasefire on the Line of Control in Kashmir. For this purpose, he called for the UNMOGIP’s expansion to monitor the observance of the ceasefire.
Secondly, the Pakistan Prime Minister said both countries needed to reaffirm their resolve not resort to the use of force under any circumstances, which he added was a central element of the UN Charter.
Thirdly, Sharif proposed that steps should be taken to demilitarise Kashmir and fourth Pakistan and India should agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground.
Efforts for maintaining peace between the two nations were only possible if the leaderships agreed to a broad range of measures to neutralize the threat perceptions and perils posed by offensive and advanced weapons systems.
He asserted that “Pakistan neither wants to, nor is it engaged in, an arms race in South Asia”, and added that as a responsible nuclear weapon state, it would continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
South Asia, he said, needs strategic stability, and this required serious dialogue to achieve nuclear restraint, conventional balance and conflict resolution.
Pakistan, he said, looks forward to playing its part to build a brighter era of peace and prosperity in South Asia.
Accepting terrorism to be a menace that was hindering global peace, development and progress, Sharif also said that there was a need for one and all to address the underlying causes of this ever present threat and challenge.
He pointed out that Muslims are suffering across the world, including those living in Palestine and Kashmir, were being oppressed by foreign occupation; persecuted as minorities; and facing constant discrimination.
The prime minister said the global threat of terrorism cannot be defeated unless its underlying causes are addressed.
“Poverty and ignorance are part of the problem. Extremist ideologies must be opposed,” he said. (ANI)