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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reaches New York for UN General Assembly; Kashmir issue on cards

New York: Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in New York on Tuesday to attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he is expected to raise the Kashmir issue.

Abbasi's address to the UNGA slated for 21 September will be his debut into the highest international diplomacy after being sworn in as the prime minister last month. Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi has said that the prime minister will highlight the Kashmir issue and other issues of concern to Pakistan.

 Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reaches New York for UN General Assembly; Kashmir issue on cards

File image of Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Reuters

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin last week said Pakistan's decision to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN, which has not been discussed at the world body for decades, is like 'Miyan ki daud masjid tak', referring to a popular Urdu proverb meaning some people think within a limited focus and are unable to think beyond that.

India, on the other hand, is focused on progressive, forward-looking agenda during the UN General Assembly session beginning on Wednesday, Akbaruddin had said on Saturday.

Abbasi's visit comes amidst tensions in the ties between Pakistan and the US after President Donald Trump last month hit out at Islamabad for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.

He would meet US vice-president Mike Pence at the UN headquarters later on Tuesday, the White House said. Ahead of Abbasi's meeting with Pence, Pakistan's foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua on Monday met US under-secretary of state Tom Shannon.

During the meeting, Janjua conveyed Pakistan's viewpoint on the new strategy and emphasised that peace in Afghanistan is a high priority for Pakistan, according to an official statement issued by Pakistan.

"She stressed that intra-Afghan dialogue is vital for bringing lasting peace to the country and the region. Pakistan would continue to play a facilitating role for a peaceful Afghanistan," the statement said.

Abbasi is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders including Jordan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the United Kingdom and Nepal.

In addition to meeting UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, he is also scheduled to address the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Updated Date: Sep 19, 2017 11:44:08 IST