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Nawaz Sharif says world ignores South Asia tension



Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz Sharif

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan addressed the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan.

UNITED NATIONS (Diya TV) — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accused nuclear-armed rival India on Wednesday of putting unacceptable conditions on dialogue and said the world would ignore rising tension in South Asia at its peril.

He told the annual United Nations General Assembly Pakistan could not ignore the “unprecedented” arms build-up India are undertaking, and that his nation would “take whatever measures are necessary to maintain credible deterrence.”

India has accused Pakistan of being behind a deadly attack on an army base in the disputed Kashmir region on Sunday in which 18 soldiers were killed and said it had the right to respond when and where it chose. Pakistan has rejected the allegation and accused India of apportioning blame before the incident had been investigated properly.

Sharif told the UN Pakistan wants peace with India and has on countless occasions offered to host dialogues with the neighboring nation. “But India has posed unacceptable preconditions to engage in dialogue,” he said.

“Talks are in the interests of both countries. They are essential to resolve our differences, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and to avert the danger of any escalation.”

India has for years accused Pakistan of playing a role in the 27-year-long insurgency against its rule in Jammu and Kashmir, its only Muslim-majority state. Pakistan denies sending fighters into Indian-administered Kashmir.

Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan since 1947, is at the heart the neighbors’ seven decades of distrust. Two of their three wars since independence from Britain have been fought over the region.

India’s portion of Kashmir has been under a major security lockdown during more than two months of heated protests sparked by the July 8 killing by Indian security forces of Burhan Wani, a popular young commander of the Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen, whose leader is based in Pakistan.

Sharif praised Wani as “as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement,” drawing an immediate response from the Indian foreign ministry.

“Pak PM Sharif at #UNGA glorifies Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in UN’s highest forum. Shows continued Pak attachment to terrorism,” the Indian ministry spokesman, Vikas Swarup, said on Twitter.

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