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India, Pakistan should address Kashmir issue through ‘dialogue’: Ban ki-moon tells Nawaz Sharif

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that both Islamabad and New Delhi should address their outstanding issues through “dialogue”.

By: | New York | Published: September 22, 2016 11:37 AM
Ban Ki-moon Ban met with Sharif on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. (Reuters)

With Pakistan repeatedly requesting the United Nations to resolve the long-withstanding Kashmir issue, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that both Islamabad and New Delhi should address their outstanding issues through “dialogue”.

“The Secretary-General stressed the need for Pakistan and India to address their outstanding issues, including Kashmir, through dialogue, saying it is in the interest of both countries and the region as a whole,” said a readout of Ban’s meeting with Prime Minister Sharif.

Ban met with Sharif on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

“The Secretary-General expressed appreciation to Pakistan for its hosting of one of the largest groups of refugees for decades,” the readout added.

Ban’s remarks came as the Pakistan Prime Minister handed over to him a dossier containing evidence of alleged ‘human rights violations’ by Indian forces in Kashmir.

The Pakistan Prime Minister on Thursday told the United Nations that his country wants peace with India but asserted there can be no peace and normalization of relations between the two Asian neighbours until the Kashmir issue is fully resolved. ”

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,” said Sharif.

He said that talks are necessary for solving all pending disputes including Kashmir with India while adding that Islamabad would accept any pre-conditions.

“Talks are no favor to Pakistan. Talks are in the interest of both countries. They are essential to resolve our differences, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and to avert the danger of any escalation. But India has posed unacceptable preconditions to engage in a dialogue,” he said.

He further extended his support to Kashmiris and went on to glorify slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani as a young leader, who has become the face of the Kashmiri movement.

“Burhan Wani, the young leader murdered by Indian forces, has emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement, led by Kashmiris,” said Sharif.

The Prime Minister said Islamabad fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination as promised to them by several Security Council resolutions and urged the United Nations to intervene and assist in solving the Kashmir dispute.

“The Security Council has called for the exercise of the right to self- determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir through a free and fair plebiscite held under the UN auspices.

The Security Council must honour its commitments by implementing its own decisions,” he said.

He further demanded an independent inquiry and a UN fact finding mission to investigate the situation in Kashmir.

The dialogue between both sides was suspended after an attack on an Indian air base at Pathankot earlier in January which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

Of late, the tension between the two sides escalated to a new level with India demanding that Pakistan be “isolated” globally post the terror attack on the army base camp in Uri Sector, close to the Line of Control (LoC).

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