UN: India rejects ‘untenable comments’ by Sharif

RSTV Bureau

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India on Saturday strongly rejected the “untenable comments” made by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Jammu and Kashmir in the UNGA, asserting that the people of the state have peacefully chosen their destiny in accordance with universally accepted democratic principles.

Exercising its Right of Reply on the floor of the General Assembly to the comments made by Sharif, India said that the Pakistan Prime Minister made “unwarranted references” in his address to the UN session earlier on Friday.

“I would like to bring to the notice of this august House that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have peacefully chosen their destiny in accordance with the universally accepted democratic principles and practices and they continue to do so. We, therefore, reject in their entirety the untenable comments of the distinguished delegate of Pakistan,” Abhishek Singh, First Secretary in the Indian mission to the UN said in the General Assembly.

Again raising the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the UN, Sharif had said that a “veil” cannot be drawn on the issue of Kashmir.

In his address, Sharif said that more than six decades ago, the United Nations passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The people of J&K are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise. Many generations of Kashmiris have lived their lives under occupation, accompanied by violence and abuse of their fundamental rights. Kashmiri women, in particular, have undergone immense suffering and humiliation,” he said.

Sharif repeated that the “core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved”. “This is the responsibility of the international community. We cannot draw a veil on the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of J&K,” he said.

Blaming India for the cancellation of the Foreign Secretary level talks between the two countries in August, Sharif had said it was “another missed opportunity” to settle disputes and build economic and trade relations.

However External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj blamed Pakistan for spoiling the talks.

She said on Friday that Pakistan “spoiled the talks” by talking to Hurriyat leaders just ahead of Foreign Secretaries of the two nations were scheduled to meet in Islamabad last month.