Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raised the issue of Kashmir, spoke about the continuing offensive against terrorism, and more importantly put the ball in India’s court by offering a new four-point peace initiative in his speech at the 70th UN General Assembly today.
UNGA speech: Nawaz proposes 4-point peace initiative with India
1. We propose Pakistan and India formalise and respect 2003 understanding of a complete ceasefire in Kashsmir and LoC
2. We propose Pakistan and India reaffirm that they will not resort to the threat of force under any circumstances
3. Steps must be taken to demilitarise Kashmir
4. Agree to mutually withdraw troops from Siachen
Nawaz Sharif said an easing of threat perceptions through such peace efforts will make it possible for Pakistan and India to agree on a broad range of measures to address the peril posed by offensive and advanced weapons systems.
The Prime Minister declared that Pakistan neither wants to, nor is it engaged in, an arms race in South Asia. He said as a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan will continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Need a more democratic, transparent Security Council, not an expanded club of privileged and powerful: Nawaz
“Pakistan supports a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, and UN Security Council, says Nawaz. “We need SC that is more democratic, accountable, and transparent. Not a council that is an expanded club of the powerful and privileged.”
Nawaz says Palestine and Kashmir are being occupied by foreign forces. Three generations of Kashmiris have only seen broken promises, says Nawaz ”Consultations with Kashmiris, are essential to evolving a peaceful solution,” he says.
Nawaz says Operation Zarb-e-Azb is largest anti-terrorism operation in the world. The premier asks for Afghan government’s cooperation to defeat terrorism in the region.
“The recent dialogue between Taliban and Afghan government was unprecedented,” say Nawaz, adding that Pakistan will help to resume the dialogue.
The prime minister said South Asia needs strategic stability and this requires serious dialogue to achieve nuclear restraint, conventional balance and conflict resolution.
He said Pakistan looks forward to playing its part to build a brighter era of peace and prosperity in South Asia.
Referring to the menace of terrorism, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to address the underlying causes of the challenge.
Kashmir, India and terrorism to remain focus of Nawaz’s UN speech, say analysts
KARACHI: Foreign policy experts believe Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address at the 70th UN General Assembly on Wednesday, which comes amid rising tensions with neighbouring India and Afghanistan, will focus on the war against terrorism and regional relations.
Former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand said the premier was likely to talk about the global war on terror in the region and Operation Zarb-e-Azb in the country’s tribal areas, Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan and recent tensions with India.
“PM Nawaz, I assume, will also speak about the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor and its broader benefits to the entire region,” Mohmand stated, adding that he may also take this opportunity to tell his global audience how his government is working for the social and economic welfare of people.
“I expect he will share with the world how his government plans to deal with the energy crisis and what he is doing to increase the literacy rate,” the former ambassador said.
Stressing the need to improve relations with India for the development of the country, Mohmand said Pakistan’s limited resources must be allocated for the betterment of people.
“If relations with India are not improved, the 68-year-long history of our existence will repeat for the next 68 years and nothing will change,” he emphasised. “Nations do not progress in such circumstances,” he added.
Acknowledging the importance of regional cooperation, former Pakistan high commissioner in the United Kingdom Abdul Kader Jaffer said the prime minister must use this platform to further the agenda of peace.
“Regional harmony is of utmost importance; all countries must work together to resolve their issues through dialogue and not through threats,” Jaffer said.
“The world is changing fast and everyone is turning nuclear; we have had two world wars before us and we cannot have the third one,” he expressed concerns, calling on leaders to realise what’s at stake. “We need to learn to coexist; this world is for everyone,” he said.
Professor of political science at LUMS Rasul Bakhsh Rais, meanwhile, said the premiere would speak about India but the test here would be how careful he is with language.
“The diplomatic language should be such that Pakistan tells the world about India’s involvement in Balochistan, Karachi and other parts of the country but not in a confrontational style,” he suggested.
“There is pressure within the country from political and religious groups to highlight the Kashmir issue and the military would also like PM Nawaz to talk about it at the forum,” he added.
Rais further went on to add that Prime Minister Nawaz would discuss, in a more aggressive and assertive manner than previous occasions, Pakistan’s role for peace in the region and the world in the form of peacekeeping missions.
“He will highlight the toll of terrorism on the country and the sacrifices Pakistan has rendered,” he said.