‘Kashmiris from Srinagar to Sopore came on roads seeking Azaadi’: Nawaz to UN

Asking United Nations to honour the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday batted for free and fair plebiscite in troubled Himalayan region.

Sharif was addressing 71st General Assembly of United Nations in New York. Major part of his speech was dedicated to Kashmir and the events unfolding there since July 08, 2016 when popular militant commander Burhan Wani was killed by forces.

Terming Burhan Wani as “symbol” of Kashmir’s latest ‘Intifada’, Sharif told the UNGA that Wani was “murdered by Indian forces”.

Addressing efforts to stabilize peace in South Asian region, Sharif asserted that talks between India and Pakistan were not any favour to latter. “The resolution of Kashmir will stabilize the region and peace,” he said slamming the unacceptable conditions set by India for dialogue.

“This is an objective evaluation and not a partisan position,” he said.

“Our predictions have now been confirmed. A new generation of Kashmiris has risen spontaneously against India’s illegal occupation, demanding freedom from occupation,” he said.

He said that confrontation should not be destiny in South Asia. “Pakistan has walked an extra-mile,” he said, “talks are in the interest of both India and Pakistan.”

He said that since Burhan Wani’s killing, men, women and children from Srinagar to Sopore are coming on road seeking “freedom from illegal occupation of India”.

Referring to civilian killings in last 75 days, injuring of over 13000 others by forces, imposition of curfew, Sharif told the General Assembly that Pakistan will be submitting a dossier containing “detailed violations of human rights in Kashmir”.

He said that Pakistan fully supports the Right to Self Determination of Kashmiris while seeking an independent enquiry in to “extra-judicial killings and rights violations in Kashmir”.

“People are striving for freedom from alien occupation,” he told the delegates from world over, “on behalf of the Kashmiri people; innocent Kashmiri mothers, women, men and children, I demand an independent enquiry to investigate brutalities in Kashmir.”

He sought immediate release of political prisoners of Kashmiris while batting for abrogation of India’s “draconian” laws from the region.

“Kashmiris have waited for seventy years and Security Council must ask India to deliver on its commitment,” he told the UN pressing for demilitarization of Jammu and Kashmir. “Over half a million Indian forces are stationed in Kashmir.”

Sharif talked about the Kashmir issue even as his country was facing criticism from New Delhi over an attack on an army camp in northern Kashmir’s Uri that killed 18 Indian soldiers.

Here are the highlights:

* A new cold war threatens to engulf Europe.

* Turmoil is intensifying in the Middle East.

* Sharif stresses the importance of fight against Daesh, or the Islamic State militant group.

* Pakistan has been a victim terrorism. This has reinforced our resolve.

* Sharif praises the Pakistan government’s efforts to defeat terrorism.

* Terrorism is now a global phenomenon, the international community has to address it .

* We have to address the root causes to eliminate terrorism.

* Pakistan wants peace with India. We have gone the extra mile.

* Peace and noramalisation between India and Pakistan needs the solution of Kashmir dispute.

* There is a peaceful freedom movement led by Kashmiris.

* Burhan Wani, the young leader murdered by Indian forces has emerged as a symbol of latest Kashmiri ‘Intifada’

* The Kashmiri uprising has been met with India’s brutal force.

* Pakistan supports the demand of Kashmiri people.

* I demand a UN fact-finding mission to Kashmir to take stock of extra-judicial killings.

* Sharif demands UN-backed plebiscite, also pitches for the de-militarisation of Jammu and Kashmir.

* Pakistan committed to peace in South Asia.

* We are open to talks with India without any conditions – at any forum.

* Pakistan is fully eligible for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Sharif’s UNGA address comes amid a diplomatic spar between the neighbours heightened by the deadly Sunday attack.

As India plans to isolate Pakistan through diplomatic means, Islamabad seems determined to rake up the recent Kashmir unrest triggered by the killing of a militant leader in July.

The militancy-hit state has been rocked by two months of violent protests in which 88 civilians have been killed and thousands injured. The Pakistani leadership has accused the Indian government of using excessive forces on civilians.

But the attack in Uri has put the spotlight once again on cross-border militancy. Hours before Sharif’s address, India summoned Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit and offered evidence for a possible probe.

Ahead of his speech, Sharif held a telephonic conversation with Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif amid signs he may tone down his rhetoric to reduce tensions with India, the Press Trust of India reported.

Reports said the two discussed the situation in Kashmir and tense relations with India.

(Besides help from news agencies, the news story was prepared by watching the Pakistan PM’s UN speech live on a news TV Channel.)

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