Nawaz wants UNMOGIP to be bolstered

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, left, poses with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

NewsGram Staff Writer

United Nations: Expressing his desire that the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should be strengthened, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif once again raised the Kashmir plebiscite issue with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday, reported Pakistani media.

However, Ban’s spokesman said in a statement that during their meeting “the secretary general stressed on the need for continuation of peace talks between the two neighbouring countries.”

The statement further said that both the leaders discussed “the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.” Ban also asked Pakistan “to continue engaging Afghanistan in order to help stabilize the country,” the statement added.

India considers the Kashmir dispute a bilateral issue and is opposed to any international involvement.

However, Sharif in his address at the UN Summit on sustainable development goals, focused only on development and stayed away from bilateral or international issues. He said that “development strategies remain first and foremost national undertakings”.

While most of the speakers stuck to development themes, a few Presidents including Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Nicolas Maduro Moros of Venezuela and Rafael Correa made anti-West statements.

Nawaz will have another opportunity to raise the Kashmir issue at the annual general debate of the General Assembly next week. Traditionally the general debate is a forum where leaders of nations express bilateral and other grievances. Every year Pakistan rakes up the Kashmir issue there.

(With inputs from IANS)