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March 12, 2015

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UN must help resolve Kashmir issue

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday asked the United Nations (UN) to intervene and step in to help resolve Kashmir and other outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India and urge India to resume a broad based dialogue to resolve these disputes, which would help in promoting peace and stability in South Asia.
“The United Nations should play a role in promoting peace and stability in South Asia. Peace, needed a fast, not a slow track,” Pakistan’s new Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in a meeting after she presented her credentials.
According to the ambassador’s office, Pakistan’s first female Permanent Representative urged the Secretary-General that normalisation of relations should be on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
Ambassador Lodhi’s raising the issue of bilateral relations with India comes a week after a high profile visit to Pakistan by India’s new Foreign Secretary, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who stated at the time, “My visit provided an opportunity to discuss our bilateral relations. We engaged on each other’s concerns and interests in an open manner. We agreed to work together to find common ground and narrow differences.”
The Secretary-General said he wanted to see a resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, while also appreciating Pakistan’s law enforcement efforts aimed at countering militancy.
Of importance was Pakistan’s concern which the Ambassador highlighted pertaining to the fact “that Pakistan did not want to be distracted from its efforts on its Western border and its law enforcement campaign to combat militancy by the fraught situation on the Line of Control in Kashmir and the working boundary with India.”
Of late both the Nawaz Sharif government and the military leadership have blamed India for unprovoked firing on the Line of Control and the working boundary in a bid to distract them from their operations in North

Waziristan to take out terrorists and militants. They have also highlighted India’s support to the Pakistani Taliban.
In this regard Ambassador Lodhi underscored the need for the role and mandate of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to be strengthened and expanded.
“It was necessary to do this to prevent ceasefire violations at the LoC and the working boundary”, she said.Pakistan’s Permanent Representative apprised the Secretary-General of Pakistan’s national priorities, which were to establish internal stability by defeating terrorism, promote inclusive economic development, help to stabilise Afghanistan .
She urged the Secretary-General to help counter the deliberate misperceptions being spread about Pakistan’s role in combating terrorism. Ambassador Lodhi assured the Secretary-General that Pakistan will continue to play a constructive role at the UN and extend its support to him on addressing the many challenges being faced in the security, economic and humanitarian fields, as well as in UN reforms.
Pakistan, she said, had a key role in peacekeeping, wanted to contribute to the success of the climate change summit, was actively participating in the post-2015 development agenda, and was in favour of effective and democratic UN reforms.


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