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India’s ‘no-talk’ approach hurting efforts to resolve Kashmir dispute: Nawaz tells UNSG

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday told United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres about Pakistan’s efforts to resolve all outstanding disputes with India via dialogue, but to no avail as India has not shown interest in talks.

“Pakistan’s foremost priority is to build a peaceful neighbourhood,” the PM told Guterres in a meeting on the sidelines of the 47th conference of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Asking the UN secretary general to visit Pakistan “on his earliest convenience”, the PM said that Pakistan supports his call to prioritise “conflict prevention and sustainable peace” moving forward.

The premier told Guterres that Kashmir is an international dispute and remains “on the agenda of the Security Council”.

He said that a “sustained dialogue process” on all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir issue, was vital to make progress.

It was in that spirit only that Pakistan invited India to discuss the Kashmir dispute and engineer an ever-lasting solution in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, the premier said.

“But India did not respond positively,” he added.

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The premier accused New Delhi of destabilising an “already tense region” by adopting a “no-talks” approach and damaging the atmosphere through incendiary statements, and trying to suppress the “voice demanding the legitimate right to self determination of the Kashmiri people”.

PM Sharif reiterated that the people of Kashmir were guaranteed a free, transparent and impartial plebiscite under the resolutions of the UN Security Council. “This promise has yet to materialise,” he added, urging the UN secretary general to take action on the issue.

He said the UN should play its role in resolving the dispute, a responsibility it has been putting on the back burner for a long time.

“We look forward to your leadership and good offices,” PM Sharif told Guterres, assuring Pakistan’s support and cooperation to enable him in fulfilling his mandate.

The UN Secretary General assured the PM that he was fully aware of the “sensitivity of the issues between India and Pakistan” that have compromised the security situation in the region.

He vowed “to play a constructive and positive role” for all countries in the region, including Pakistan.

Guterres also praised Pakistan’s contribution to the UN and the peacemaking operations as well as for hosting millions of Afghan refugees in the country.

PM Sharif said that it was encouraging to learn that Guterres had set his priorities “soon after assuming his office”, extending him an invitation to Pakistan this year at his earliest convenience.

courtesy : dawn news

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