Kashmir key to Pak-India peace, Kakar tells UNGA

News Desk
Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

UNITED NATIONS: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Friday stressed that the UN resolutions on the Kashmir issue are “the key to peace” between the two nuclear-armed nations, as he urged global powers to convince India to accept Pakistan’s offer of mutual restraint on strategic and conventional weapons.

PM Kakar called on the UN Security Council to secure the implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir. “India has evaded implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions which call for the ‘final disposition’ of Jammu and Kashmir to be decided by its people through UN-supervised plebiscite,” Kakar said while addressing the United Nations General Assembly at its 78th session in New York.

PM Kakar also focused on a range of issues, including the cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistan by Afghanistan-based TTP; the Palestine tragedy; the threat posed by far-right groups like Hindutva-inspired extremists; Islamophobia; global economic crises stemming from Covid, conflict and climate change; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Pakistan’s efforts to recover from its economic challenges, and the UNSC reform.

“Development depends on peace,” the Prime Minister said, adding: “Pakistan desires peaceful and productive relations with all our neighbours, including India.

“Since August 5, 2019, PM Kakar said India, with 900,000 troops in the occupied Kashmir, imposed extended lockdowns and curfews; jailed all the genuine Kashmir leaders; violently suppressed peaceful protests; resorted to extra-judicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in fake ‘encounters’ and so-called ‘cordon and search operations’, and imposed collective punishments, destroying entire villages.

“Access to occupied Kashmir, demanded by the UN High Commission for Human Rights and over a dozen Special Rapporteurs, has been denied by New Delhi,” he told delegates from around the world.

In this regard, the Prime Minister called for the reinforcement of the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).

He stressed that global powers should convince New Delhi to accept Pakistan’s offer of mutual restraint on strategic and conventional weapons.

Pakistan, he said, shared the concerns of international community with respect to Afghanistan, its first priority being to prevent and counter all terrorism from and within that neighbouring country.

“Yet,” the Prime Minister said, “we advocate continued humanitarian assistance to a destitute Afghan population in which Afghan girls and women are the most vulnerable; as well as revival of the Afghan economy and implementation of the connectivity projects with Central Asia.

“Pakistan condemns the cross- border terrorist attacks against Pakistan by the TTP, Da’esh and other groups operating from Afghanistan,” the Prime Minister said, adding: “We have sought Kabul’s support and cooperation to prevent these attacks. However, we are also taking necessary measures to end this externally encouraged terrorism.”

He told the international community that Pakistan’s government was committed to rapid economic recovery, stabilise its foreign exchange reserves and currency; expand domestic revenues and mobilise significant domestic and external investment.

To that end, he said, Pakistan had established a Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to expedite investment decisions, with 28 projects identified in priority sectors — agriculture, mining, energy and IT – for implementation in collaboration with the country’s partners.