New York(PTI): Raking up Kashmir at the UN, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif glorified slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a “young leader” even as he expressed readiness for a “serious and sustained dialogue” with India for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir.
Sharif devoted much of his 20-minute speech at the UN General Assembly session to Kashmir and the current situation in the valley and said Pakistan “fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination”.
He demanded an ‘independent inquiry into the extra- judicial killings’ and a UN fact-finding mission to Kashmir “so that those guilty of these atrocities are punished.” Insisting that peace and normalisation between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Sharif made a number of allegations with regard to the current unrest in the valley. India has blamed Pakistan for engineering and fuelling the unrest.
While talking about the situation in Kashmir, the Pakistan Prime Minister referred to Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, as a “young leader” and said he has “emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement…”
Strongly reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister’s remarks, India described them as non-factual and full of “threat bluster” and said glorification of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani by him at the world forum is an act of “self-incrimination” by Pakistan.
“We just heard a speech full of threat bluster and rising immaturity and complete disregard of facts,” Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said at a press conference at the India’s permanent mission here after Sharif’s address to the UN General Assembly.
He also criticised Sharif for glorifying Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, and said India “will not succumb to blackmail tactics of the Pakistan Government that seems eager to use terrorism as policy”.
“We heard the glorification of a terrorist. Wani is declared commander of Hizbul, widely acknowledged as a terror group. It is shocking that a leader of a nation can glorify a self-advertised terrorist at such a forum. This is self incrimination by Pakistan PM,” Akbar said.
Rejecting Sharif’s offer to India to enter into a serious and sustained dialogue for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, the minister said, “Talks and guns don’t go together”.
“Pakistan at this moment seems to be run by a war machine rather than a government. Pakistan wants dialogue while holding a terrorist gun in its hand,” he said.
He also rejected Sharif’s allegations against India with regard to the current unrest in Kashmir and said, “Kashmir occupation is by Pakistan occupation army. The world also knows that Pakistan has been indulged in ethnic cleansing of its own people,” he said.