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Unresolved Kashmir issue ‘blot on the conscience of humanity’: Pak

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Warns India against LoC ‘venture’

United Nations, Sep 29: Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly on Saturday, saying the "unresolved dispute" is impacting achieving durable peace between India and Pakistan and remains a "blot on the conscience of humanity".

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, addressing the General Debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, said Islamabad wanted a relationship with New Delhi based on "sovereign equality and mutual respect".

"We seek resolution of disputes through a serious and comprehensive dialogue that covers all issues of concern," he said in his address.

On the cancellation of the foreign minister-level talks on the margins of the General Assembly, Qureshi said Pakistan was to talk about all issues with India but New Delhi called off the dialogue, preferring "politics over peace".

"They used the pretext of stamps issued months ago...and depicting grave human rights violations, including pellet gun victims, as an excuse to back out from the talks," he said.

India had called off the meeting, citing the “brutal killings” of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps "glorifying" Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

"Dialogue is the only way to address long standing issues that have long bedeviled South Asia, and prevented the region from realising its true potential," he said, adding that the "unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realisation of the goal of durable peace" between the two countries.

Read Also: Domestic political, electoral compulsions behind India’s reluctance to talk: Pak FM

"For over seventy years now, it has remained on the agenda of the UN Security Council and a blot on the conscience of humanity," he said.

“For seventy years the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir have struggled for their right to self-determination in the face of overwhelming oppression and gross violation of their fundamental human rights by the Indian occupation forces,” he pointed out.

The foreign minister warned that there could be no lasting peace in South Asia without a just settlement of the Kashmir dispute based on the UNSC resolutions and in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people.

Qureshi said that Pakistan welcomed the recently released report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Pakistan endorses the UN report and calls for early institution of a Commission of Inquiry under the UN auspices to investigate and fix responsibility,” he said, adding, “We will welcome the commission to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and hope that India too, will do the same.”

Qureshi also said that Pakistan is ready to engage with India for meaningful confidence building, risk reduction and avoidance of arms race in the South Asian region.

He also warned that if India ventures across the Line of Control, or acts upon its doctrine of "limited" war against Pakistan, "it will evoke a strong and matching response."

“To divert the world’s attention from its brutalities, India frequently violates the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Despite numerous violations Pakistan has acted with restraint,” Qureshi said.

“But if India does venture across the LoC, or acts upon its doctrine of ‘limited’ war against Pakistan, it will evoke a strong and matching response.”

Describing Pakistan as a “victim of terrorism”, Qureshi said his country wanted to sit with India to discuss all issues, including terrorism, that have created violence in cities and towns, and have led to tens of thousands of casualties.

He also raised the issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and informed the audience that India was behind various acts of terrorism in Pakistan, including the 2014 Army Public School carnage in Peshawar.

Read Also: Kashmir situation will not improve by hiding away from issues: Pakistan

Referring to the change of government following the July 25 general elections in the country, he said that Pakistan would not compromise on the interests of the nation, the sovereignty of the state, or the security of its people.

“Our government is keen to pursue a policy of partnership for peace, security and prosperity in our immediate neighbourhood and beyond. We seek a peaceful environment to promote our development agenda both at the national level and in our region,” he said.

“The unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute hinders the realisation of the goal of a durable peace between our two countries. For over 70 years now, it has remained on the agenda of the UN Security Council and a blot on the conscience of humanity.

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