Peace in S. Asia contingent upon resolution of Kashmir dispute: PM Shehbaz Sharif

United Nations, September 23 (KMS): Pakistan Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has reiterated that Pakistan wants peace with all its neighbours including India, however, sustainable peace and stability in South Asia remains contingent upon a just and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations resolutions.


Addressing the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, today, the Prime Minister said, at the heart of this long-standing dispute lies the denial of the inalienable right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people. He said India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019 to change the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory further undermined the prospects of peace and inflamed the regional tensions.

Shehbaz Sharif said, India’s ruthless campaign of repression against Kashmiris has continued to grow in scale and intensity. “In pursuit of this heinous goal, New Delhi has ramped up its military deployments in occupied Jammu and Kashmir to 900,000 troops thus making it the most militarized zone in the world…. Brutalization of Kashmiris takes many forms; extrajudicial killings, incarceration, custodial torture and death, indiscriminate use of force, deliberate targeting of Kashmiri youth with pellet guns and collective punishments imposed on entire community,” he said.

The Prime Minister said in a classic settler colonial project, India is seeking to turn the Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir into a Hindu territory through illegal demographic changes. He said, millions of fake domicile certificates have been issued to non-Kashmiris while Kashmiris’ land and properties are being seized, electoral districts have been gerrymandered, and over 2.5 million non-Kashmiri illegal voters fraudulently registered. He maintained that all this is in blatant violations of UN Security Council resolutions and international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention.

On our part, the Prime Minister said, the Pakistani people have always stood by our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in complete solidarity and will continue to do so no matter what until their right to self-determination is fully realized in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. “I assure the world forums and this august platform that we in Pakistan remain consistent in our commitment to peace in south Asia. India must take credible steps to create enabling environment for constructive engagement,” he said. Shehbaz Sharif said war is not an option. Only peaceful dialogue can resolve the issues so that world becomes more peaceful in times to come.

The Prime Minister said Islamophobia is a global phenomenon. Since 9/11 suspicion and fear of Muslims and discrimination against them have escalated to epidemic proportions. The officially sponsored campaign of repression against India’s over 200 million Muslims is the worst manifestation of Islamophobia. They are subjected to discriminatory laws and policies. Hijab bans, attacks on mosques and lynching by Hindu mobs. I am particularly concerned by the calls of genocide against India’s Muslims by some extremist groups.

The Prime Minister appreciated the UN Secretary General for visiting Pakistan and taking the firsthand account of the devastation caused by the floods. He thanked the world leaders for extending support to the victims of devastating floods in Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif urged the world to make collective efforts to curb the global terrorism saying that Pakistan has been the worst victim of this menace over the years.

The Prime Minister called for called for the resolution of the Palestinian conflict. He urged the world community to support the people of Afghanistan in the rebuilding of their country.

Before concluding his speech, Shehbaz Sharif reiterated, “We want to have peace with India but long-lasting enduring peace can only be ensured and guaranteed through a just and fair solution of the Kashmir dispute by giving right to self-determination to the people of Kashmir under UN charter, according to Security Council resolutions.

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