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Pakistan rakes up Kashmir issue at UN

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As was expected, Pakistan on Wednesday raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif harking on the “primacy and urgency” of addressing the issue and also pointing out that its neighbour (India) “wants to engage in an arms race”.

Sharif also pointed to the “persistent failure” of the UN in resolving the Kashmir issue.

He proposed four new “peace initiatives”, including that Pakistan and India formalise and respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control in Kashmir.

For this, he proposed that the mandate of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) be expanded to monitor observance of the ceasefire.

Secondly, he proposed that Pakistan and India reaffirm that they will not resort to the use or the threat of use of force, which he said was a central element of the UN Charter.

Sharif also proposed steps to demilitarise Kashmir.

He said both sides should agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground.

Sharif said its neighbour, referring to India, “wants to engage in an arms race” and added that “Islamabad cannot remain oblivious to the security dynamics and obliges us to take steps”.

As was expected, Pakistan on Wednesday raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif proposing new “peace initiatives” and also hinting at an “arms race” in South Asia that “obliged” it to take matching steps.

Sharif also pointed to the “persistent failure” of the UN in resolving Kashmir issue.

He proposed that Pakistan and India formalise and respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control in Kashmir. For this, he proposed that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan mandate be expanded to monitor observance of the ceasefire.

Secondly, he proposed that Pakistan and India reaffirm that they will not resort to the use or the threat of use of force, which he said is a central element of the UN Charter.

Sharif also proposed steps to demilitarise Kashmir.

He said both sides should agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground.

Sharif said his nation “neither wants to, nor is it engaged in, an arms race in South Asia. We cannot however remain oblivious to the evolving security dynamics and arms buildup in our region, which obliges us to take essential steps to maintain our security”.

(IANS)