Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today raked up the Kashmir issue in his first meeting with the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres but got no positive response to his request for the world body’s intervention in the issue. Sharif, who met Guterres on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos, said Kashmir needed attention of the UN, the Prime Minister’s Office said here in a statement. “A sustained dialogue process on all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir is essential to make progress.
It was in this spirit that we invited India for discussions on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” Sharif to the UN chief.
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The Pakistan Prime Minister claimed that India did not respond positively to his country’s “invitation” for dialogue and adopted a “no-talks posture, vitiating the atmosphere through incendiary statements….” According to the statement, Sharif also raised the issue of Indus Water Treaty with the UN Secretary General. “We look forward to your leadership and good offices.. the United Nations has longstanding responsibility to play a role in the resolution of these issues,” Sharif said.
Guterres gave no positive response to Sharif’s demand. He told Sharif that he was “fully cognizant of the sensitivity of the issues between India and Pakistan which has security consequences for the region,” the statement said. He praised Pakistan’s contribution for the United Nations and Peace-keeping operations as well as hosting millions of Afghan refugees, the PMO said.
Sharif said his government’s foremost priority was to build a peaceful neighbourhood. “We are committed to lasting peace and security in our region and an environment conducive to economic cooperation; which is in the interest of all the people of South Asia,” he said. Sharif also praised the current Secretary General as the ideal candidate to take the UN forward into the 21st century and invited him to visit Pakistan at the earliest.