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2016-02-06 06:35:22

On Kashmir Day, Nawaz has message for Modi

Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Kashmir issue was a litmus test of the political foresight of the present Indian and Pakistani leadership and expressed the hope that dialogue process between the two countries will move forward in the days to come.
Speaking at the special joint sitting of the Pakistan administered Kashmir’s (PaK) legislature, held to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, Sharif apparently addressed Indian PM NarendraModi, saying that Kashmir had been yearning for peace since 1947 and the situation warranted for a new thinking in South Asia.
“I earnestly feel that history is once again questioning the leadership in India and Pakistan that what they will leave behind for the coming generations – peace or hostilities?”
“Both governments enjoy public mandate and both will have to think in the interest of their people.”
The PM pointed out that it was not unusual for countries to have differences but what was unwanted was their failure to address them even after decades.
“That’s why I say Kashmir issue is the litmus test of the political foresight of present India-Pakistan leadership that whether they clear the debt of history or pass it on to the next generations.”
He said when the whole world was getting rid of bitter past and looking towards future, why couldn’t people of South Asia do that?
“I have drawn attention of Indian leadership towards it previously. Today I reiterate that solution to all of our issues lies in dialogue and I firmly hope that the dialogue process between Pakistan and India will progress in the days to come,” he said.
“Unless we do that, neither our problems will be resolved nor people of South Asia will come out of retardation,” he warned.
The prime minister also said that Pakistan had assured India of its cooperation on all issues, including terrorism.
“Pakistan is the country worst hit by terrorism… Who else than us would wish for an end to this savagery?”
He said Pakistan not only wanted peace for itself but for the whole region, and was therefore ever ready to take every step for it.
“But we should not forget that held Kashmir is also part of this region and Kashmiris also deserve peace.”
“Prosperity and peace can be equally distributed only when the people of whole region are treated equally and respectfully. Human rights of all are respected and right to freedom of all is acknowledged,” he said, but questioned that how could South Asia remain in peace when one of its parts – Kashmir – languished in pain.
Emphasising that freedom was the right of Kashmiris, he said the governments in Islamabad and New Delhi could not ignore these questions.
Sharif also warned the United Nations of a big question mark on its goodwill, prestige and authority in the presence of an unresolved Kashmir issue.
“Kashmiri people are demanding nothing but what was pledged to them by the United Nations… I think the United Nations has to be answerable to the world that why it has failed to implement its approved resolutions (on Kashmir),” the prime minister said.
“This question is not just linked to the Kashmir issue or Pakistan-India dispute, but to the goodwill, prestige and authority of the world body,” he added.
The prime minister maintained that if some of the UN resolutions get implemented in no time and others gather dust for years together, then the UN should seriously review its standing.
He said Pakistan had tried to give a new vision to the South Asian region, based on mutual respect, mutual struggle for peace and economic prosperity and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a reflection of that desire.
Sharif asserted that conflict was neither China’s priority nor that of Pakistan and, instead, both nations wished this project to become a symbol of peace and security of the whole region.
He said PaK would also reap the benefits of CPEC along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.
“Development of roads and power projects has been planned to help end the power shortage and bring progress to these areas,” he said.
Lauding China’s “tremendous cooperation” in this regard, he said Beijing had once again proved its friendship with Pakistan.
He said a major chunk of $46bn was Chinese investment and not loan, including around $34-36bn investment in private sector.
He said he was keen to see rail network established between Islamabad and Muzaffarabad, a highway between Muzaffarabad and Mirpur running through the PaK territory, but non-availability of funds had delayed the projects. He however announced Rs 250 million for AJK development on the demand of Speaker.
He also claimed that menace of terrorism had reduced to a great extent as compared to pre-2013 era.
“Nobody remains in power forever. Today we are in power, tomorrow someone else will be in our place, so should we leave a problem-infested Pakistan for our next generations?”
He said that democracy should be dear to everyone because whenever democracy was dented, Pakistan had to face its adverse impact, such as dismemberment of East Pakistan.
Earlier, in their speeches, Leader of the Opposition Raja Farooq Haider and PaK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed welcomed Sharif in Muzaffarabad.
Categories:   Features ، Other News ، From Kashmir ،
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