Sharif leaves for US with Kashmir top on UNGA agenda

Islamabad, Sep 17 (IANS) With Kashmir on top of the agenda, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for the US on Saturday to attend the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Islamabad has strongly rebutted India’s stance on Jammu and Kashmir at the UN Human Rights Council, calling it “a travesty of history”.

Sharif, who will address the UN General Assembly on September 21, on Friday met Hurriyat leaders in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in Muzaffarabad to take inputs and take them into confidence, the Pakistani media reported.

On Friday, Sharif also met Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to discuss Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing’s alleged interference in Pakistan. Sharif is likely to raise this issue during his address at the United Nations.

Sharif, in his address, will highlight issues such as “Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination” and alleged “atrocities” being committed by Indian security forces. He is to also urge the international community and the UN to “live up to their promise” of the right to self determination of the Kashmiri people in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has in a strong rebuttal to India at the UN Human Rights Council referred to a recent speech by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MP Tariq Hameed Karra who called life in Kashmir “worse than under Nazi rule”.

Pakistan called for the Kashmiris to be allowed to “freely decide their future through the United Nations’ mandated plebiscite”.

The Pakistan delegation also termed India’s focus on Balochistan at the UN as “open interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs”.

Earlier, India had slammed Pakistan, saying it was ironical that a nation “that has established a well earned reputation of being the global epicentre of terrorism” was holding forth on human rights.

The focus on Kashmir comes as nearly 90 people have died in clashes with security forces in the valley since July 9, a day after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani by security forces.

–IANS

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