At UN, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif says solution of Kashmir issue precondition to lasting peace

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Sustainable peace and stability in South Asia depend upon a “just and lasting” solution to the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday at the UN General Assembly session. He, however, said the country wants peace with all its neighbors, including India.

Sharif called India’s 2019 mega changes in Jammu and Kashmir “illegal and unilateral”, and said they undermined the prospects of peace.

India has maintained the revocation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of erstwhile state Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories are the country’s internal matters.

“Pakistan needs a stable external environment. We look for peace with all our neighbours, including India. Sustainable peace and stability in South Asia, however, remains contingent upon a just and lasting solution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he added.

“I think it’s high time that India understood this message loud and clear that both countries are armed to the teeth. War is not an option. It is not an option. Only peaceful dialogue can resolve these issues so that the world becomes more peaceful in the time to come,” he added.

India’s position on Jammu and Kashmir has remained the same — it is an integral part of the country.

India has said it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence.

Shehbaz claimed New Delhi has ramped up its military deployments in Jammu and Kashmir, thus making it the “most militarised zone in the world”.

Shehbaz said both India and Pakistan should not waste their resources on buying more ammunition and trying to promote tension.

It’s now up to us to resolve our differences, our problems or issues like peaceful neighbours through peaceful negotiations and discussions and save our scarce resources for promoting education and health and employment to millions of people,” he added.

On Afghanistan, he said, at this point isolating the Afghan interim government could aggravate the suffering of the Afghan people who are already destitute.

With inputs from PTI

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