Wednesday June 19, 2024

PM’s UN address well-received in Pakistan

By Tariq Butt
September 23, 2016

ISLAMABAD: More than one-third of the inclusive speech of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the UN General Assembly was reserved for Kashmir, taking on India for perpetrating brutalities on the Kashmiris and denying them the right of self-determination.

As a whole, the address has been received well in Pakistan and no dissenting voices have been raised. Every political actor had demanded of the prime minister to powerfully present the Kashmir cause in the world body with a focus on the ongoing massacre in the valley, and he came up to their assertions.

Never before had any Pakistani leader presented Kashmir’s case as forcefully as he has done at a time when the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) is suffering the worst atrocities at the hands of the Indian security forces and the valley is in the grip of a spontaneous indigenous uprising in the wake of the martyrdom of Burhan Wani.

But while exposing the Indian brutalities, hypocrisy and double face, the prime minister also reiterated the offer for a serious and sustained dialogue for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes especially Kashmir. “Confrontation should not be our destiny in South Asia. Pakistan wants peace with India. Peace and normalization between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. This is an objective evaluation, not a partisan position.”

He specifically referred to the “extra mile” - repeatedly offering India a dialogue to address all outstanding issues - he has gone to achieve peace in South Asia. But he bemoaned that New Delhi has posed unacceptable preconditions to engage in dialogue. He made it clear that talks are no favour to Pakistan but are in the interest of both countries and are essential to resolve differences, especially the Kashmir dispute, and to avert the danger of any escalation.

These brutalities, the premier stressed, will not suppress the spirit of the Kashmiris; it will only intensify their anger and fortify their determination to see India end its occupation of Kashmir. From Srinagar to Sopore, the men, women and children come out each day, defying curfew, to demand freedom.

He called for an independent inquiry into the extra-judicial killings, and a UN fact-finding mission to investigate brutalities perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces so that those guilty are punished. He reminded the world body about the international law and UN declarations on self-determination and urged that the Security Council must honour its commitments by implementing its own decisions.

The prime minister’s handing over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon a dossier of Indian State atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris was a timely and prudent move. He showed him the pictures of the innocent and defenceless people of IHK, who have been victimized through brutal use of force and atrocities at the state level. It was stated that the top UN diplomat expressed his shock while seeing the pictures of the victims of pellet guns being used by Indian occupying forces.

Nawaz Sharif also dilated on several other vital topics including xenophobia and Islamophobia; terrorism; Zarb-e-Azb, National Action Plan (NAP), Afghan conflict, Indian arms buildup; foolproof safety and security measures taken by Pakistan for its nuclear materials and facilities etc.

He stated that in many countries, intolerance has revived the ghosts of xenophobia and Islamophobia; Pakistan has been the principal victim of terrorism including that supported, sponsored and financed from abroad; Zarb-e-Azb operation is the largest, most robust and most successful anti-terrorism campaign anywhere in the world, deploying 200,000 of security forces; comprehensive NAP has the complete endorsement of our people and our Parliament as well as our security forces, all of whom have made heroic sacrifices to defeat terrorism; progress will be assured only when the Afghan parties themselves conclude that there is no military solution to the Afghan war, and work assiduously, through a meaningful dialogue process for achieving reconciliation and peace at home; for its part, Pakistan is committed to the establishment of strategic stability in the region and it neither wants nor is it engaged in an arms race with India, but cannot ignore its neighbour’s unprecedented arms buildup and will take whatever measures are necessary to maintain credible deterrence; it has introduced state of the art measures to strengthen the safety and security of nuclear materials and facilities and has adopted a comprehensive export control regime that is fully consistent with international standards.