Ahead of Sharif’s UN speech, Pak rakes up Kashmir issue again

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New York
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2015 12:25 IST
Pakistan Prime Minister Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz shows the dossier against RAW involvement in promoting terrorism in Pakistan at a press briefing in Islamabad on August 22, 2015. (AFP File Photo)

Pakistan on Wednesday accused India of trying to “quell the struggle of the Kashmiri people by brute force”, just a day ahead of prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the UN general assembly.

Addressing a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in New York, Sharif’s adviser on national security and foreign affairs said Pakistan is still ready for a dialogue with India without any precondition.

“Instead of upholding the inalienable right to self-determination promised to the Kashmir people by the United Nations and to fulfil its own pledges, India decided to try to quell the Kashmiri struggle by use of brute force. As a result, more than 90,000 Kashmiris have been killed by the Indian Security forces over the last two decades in Indian Occupied Kashmir,” Sartaj Aziz said in his speech.

“On its part, Pakistan is ready to hold talks with India, at any level, without any preconditions, in order to address each other’s concerns and establish lasting peace by resolving all outstanding issues, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he added.

He also requested the OIC to “impress upon India to stop ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and working boundary which were causing several civilian deaths.”

On the cancellation of NSA-level talks last month, Aziz said India had set pre-conditions by insisting on keeping the Kashmir issue out of the agenda and objecting to Pakistan’s interaction with the Hurriyat leaders.

In response, India reiterated its earlier position that OIC has no locus standi on issues related to its domestic affairs and that such statements by Aziz are neither new nor helpful.

“We have already clarified that UMOGIP has no relevance in regard to the latter. The propagandist suggestions made in the Foreign Minister’s statement are neither new nor helpful,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had tweeted when Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue in the OIC.

Sharif in his address at the UNGA is expected to raise the Kashmir issue and also oppose India’s bid for a permanent seat in the Security Council. Some reports said more than a third of his speech would be on the Kashmir issue.

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