Nawaz Sharif likely to raise Kashmir issue at UN General Assembly

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to raise Kashmir issue during his address at the UN General Assembly, a senior diplomat in Islamabad said on Thursday.

The Pakistani diplomat said that Sharif is conscious about the importance of Kashmir and would raise the issue at the UNGA. Last year too Sharif had raked up Kashmir issue at the UN, evoking strong reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who protested to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying raising bilateral issues on such fora was not the way to resolve them.

The diplomat said Pakistan Prime Minister, however, would offer several steps to de-escalate the tension and establish peace along the Line of Control (LoC). Sharif left for New York on Tuesday and is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 30. The diplomat told PTI, “The Prime Minister do not want to add to the existing tension but at the same time he is conscious of importance of Kashmir and Indian intervention in Pakistan.”
The official said that it had been decided that the speech should not deviate from the vision of the Prime Minister and should offer several steps to de-escalate the tension and establish peace along the LoC.

“Measures like frequent security exchanges and mechanism to tackle the outbreak of firing incident are expected to be proposed,” he said. Sharif is also expected to talk about the threat posed by unresolved issue of Kashmir to regional peace as both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. Pakistan is also expected to raise the issue of India’s alleged intervention in its domestic affairs but modalities are still being worked out for it.
He said no meeting between Sharif and his Indian counterpart has been planned so far.

Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security Sartaj Aziz has already made it clear that any proposal for the meeting should come from India. Sharif will also push for resolution of Afghanistan issue through peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban militants. He would also highlight Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate militants and achievements of Zarb-e-Azb operation which killed over 3,000 militants sine it was launched in June last year.