Pakistan plays Kashmir card at UN, demands plebiscite

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United Nations, Sep 22 (IANS) As expected, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, calling for a plebiscite and an independent inquiry into alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.

Sharif also mentioned Hizbul militant Burhan Wani, whose killing on July 8 sparked off the current unrest in the Kashmir valley, terming him a “young leader” and the symbol of the Kashmiri unrest.

Pakistan had observed a black day to protest Wani’s killing by Indian security forces and termed him a martyr — an issue that has led to further worsening of bilateral ties.

“Burhan Wani, the young leader murdered by Indian forces has emerged as a latest symbol of the Kashmiri intifada (uprising) of a popular and peaceful freedom movement,” said Sharif.

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Extending his support to the “struggle of Kashmiri people”, Sharif said that peace and normalcy cannot be achieved between India and Pakistan without resolving the Kashmir issue.

“The UN Security Council has called for the exercise of the right to self determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir through a free and fair plebiscite held under UN auspices,” Sharif said during the general debate of the 71st session of General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

Sharif, whose government has persistently been raising the Kashmir issue at the international fora, said that his country wants peace with India, and has “gone the extra mile” to achieve that, but India has “imposed preconditions”.

“Peace and normalisation between India and Pakistan can’t be achieved without discussion on Jammu and Kashmir,” Sharif was quick to add.

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He further stated that the pre-conditions imposed by India on any dialogue “cannot work”.

Sharif said the “indigenous uprising” in Kashmir has been met with “brutal repression by Indian soldiers” and would “only fortify the determination of Kashmiris to fight for their rights”

“Pakistan fully supports self-determination of Kashmiris’ legitimate demand,” he said.

He said the UN Security Council should ensure implementation of resolutions on Kashmir.

“Pakistan fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people. Their struggle is the legitimate one for liberation from alien occupation”, he added.

“On behalf of the Kashmiri people and Pakistani nation I demand an independent inquiry into the extra judicial killings and a UN fact-finding mission to investigate brutalities perpetrated by the Indian forces,” Sharif said, adding he had with him the dossier on “India’s human rights abuse”.

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