India, Pakistan and Kashmir: All that was said at the UN General Assembly session

In the wake of the Uri attack, India has vowed to isolate Pakistan internationally in forums such as UN as a strategic response. Whereas, Pakistan's efforts of internationalising the Kashmir dispute seems to have has gained no support, amid fears of isolation. Pakistani Prime minister Nawaz Sharif met with the leaders of the US, the UK, Japan and Turkey and sought their intervention.

At the UN General Assembly 71st session, rejecting Pakistan's repeated pleas to the UN to resolve the Kashmir dispute, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan and India should address their outstanding issues, including Kashmir, through "dialogue".

PM Nawaz Sharif expressed a readiness for serious and sustained dialogue with India over Kashmir, emphasising that without the resolution of Kashmir dispute, peace cannot be achieved. He said in his speech to the UNGA on Wednesday, "talks are no favor to Pakistan. Talks are in the interest of both countries", reports Indian Express.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif speaks during a high-level meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York. Reuters

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif speaks during a high-level meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York. Reuters

He said that Pakistan too has been a victim of terrorism and made a plea for encouraging tolerance. He listed action taken by the Pakistani government to combat terrorism such as the National Action Plan and the Zarb-e-Azb anti-terrorism campaign.

To combat terrorism, Sharif said that the international community has to work together and look at the root cause: human rights violation, something that has been rampant in Kashmir. Touting that there has been a growing peaceful protest in Kashmir which has been suppressed brutally by India and that the right to self-determination is largely denied to the people of Kashmir, he urged a UN fact-finding mission to Kashmir to take stock of extrajudicial killings and demilitarization of Kashmir. He handed over a dossier to the Secretary General containing evidence of alleged human rights violations by Indian forces in Kashmir and stated that the shooting of Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri protest leader is one such human rights violation.

Strongly reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister's remarks at the UN, India described them as non-factual and full of "threat bluster" and said glorification of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani by him at the world forum is an act of "self-incrimination" by Pakistan. Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar rejected Sharif's offer to enter into talks for a peaceful resolution, saying, "talks and guns don't go together".

Further, on Sharif's terming of India's claim over Kashmir as 'occupation by India', Akbar said that "the only occupation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a part of India, is the occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan occupation army".

India exercised her Right to Reply with the First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, with Eenam Gambhir saying that the worst violation of human rights is terrorism, practiced as an instrument of state policy in Pakistan, stating this to be a war crime. Pakistan was described as hypocritical.

Gambhir quoted examples of recent terrorism in the US tracing back to Pakistan and said, "(Pakistan's) nuclear proliferation record is marked by deception and deceit". She said that instead of vacillating between threats and lies, Pakistan should take corrective steps before sermonising upon human rights violations, "talking about restraint, renunciation and peace".

According to Anirudh Bhattacharyya of Firstpost, the main theme of India's response is encapsulated in Gambhir's pronouncement, “What we see in Pakistan, Mr President, is a terrorist state, which channelises billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against its neighbours”.

Afghanistan backed India, according to India Today, second vice president Sarwar Danish said "world knows where Taliban leaders live", adding, "Pakistan doesn't act against terrorists." And China has called upon India and Pakistan to exercise “restraint” and re-engage in dialogue according to the Hindu.

Secretary General Ban's office has repeatedly said that the UN Chief's good offices are available on helping resolve the Kashmir dispute only if both India and Pakistan request for it, a clear message that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one between the two nations and should be solved by them only.

Baloch activist advocate Mohammad Anwar said that Sharif should have talked about Balochistan instead of Kashmir, "where houses are being looted and razed, the people are being kidnapped and murdered", reports ANI.

Following Sharif's speech, Balochis and Indians held protests against Pakistan on Wednesday across the street from the UN office in New York city. Anti-Pakistan NGO, American Friends of Balochistan protested over the repression in the Pakistani province and pleaded for UN intervention to protect the Balochis. About 40 people participated in the demonstration held behind steel barricades in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Later some of them joined a protest by the Indian American Community, where slogans were shouted and placards raised in support of the Balochistan people.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 22, 2016 14:41 PM

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