United Nations: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly here and blamed India for “another missed opportunity” to address outstanding issues by cancelling the Foreign Secretary-level talks.
Asserting that a “veil” cannot be drawn over the “core” issue of Kashmir, he said Pakistan is ready to work for resolution of this problem through negotiations.
“Our support and advocacy of the right to self- determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is our historic commitment and a duty, as a party to the Kashmir dispute,” he said while addressing the annual UN General Assembly session.
Needling India, Sharif said that more than six decades ago, the UN had passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise,” he said.
“Many generations of Kashmiris have lived their lives under occupation, accompanied by violence and abuse of their fundamental rights. Kashmiri women, in particular, have undergone immense suffering and humiliation,” he said.
For decades, attempts have been made, both under UN auspices and bilaterally in the spirit of the Lahore Declaration, to resolve this dispute, he said.
“The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved. This is the responsibility of the international community. We cannot draw a veil on the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Sharif told the gathering.
India had called off the Foreign Secretary-level talks in August after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit met Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi, ignoring India’s warning not to meet the separatist leaders.