Nawaz proposes four-point peace initiative with India

NAWAZ

NEW YORK: Proposing a four-point peace initiative with India, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the two countries should address and resolve the causes of tension and take all possible measures to avert further escalation.

Speaking at the 70th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he said he wanted to use the opportunity to propose a new peace initiative with India, starting with measures that were the “simplest to implement”.

“One, we propose that Pakistan and India formalise and respect the 2003 understanding for a complete ceasefire on the Line of Control in Kashmir. For this purpose, we call for UNMOGIP’s expansion to monitor the observance of the ceasefire.

“Two, we propose, that Pakistan and India reaffirm that they will not resort to the use or the threat of use of force under any circumstances. This is a central element of the UN Charter.

“Three, steps be taken to demilitarise Kashmir.

“Four, agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battleground.”

The Pakistani premier said these peace efforts will help make it possible for the two countries to agree on a broad range of measures to address the threat posed by offensive and advanced weapons systems.

The prime minister said that when he assumed the office in June 2013, for the third time, it was one of his first priorities to normalise relations with India.

“I reached out to the Indian leadership to emphasise that our common enemy was poverty and underdevelopment. Cooperation, not confrontation, should define our relationship,” he said.

“Yet today ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary are intensifying, causing civilian deaths including women and children,” he added.

Warning India on interfering in Pakistan’s internal matters, Prime Minister Sharif said: “Wisdom dictates that our immediate neighbour refrains from fomenting instability in Pakistan”.

“Pakistan neither wants to, nor is it engaged in, an arms race in South Asia,” he said.

“We cannot, however, remain oblivious to the evolving security dynamics and arms buildup in our region, which obliges us to take essential steps to maintain our security,” he added.

“As a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan will continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We have maintained the highest standards of nuclear security and have established an effective regime to ensure the safety and security of our nuclear facilities and stocks.

“South Asia needs strategic stability and this requires serious dialogue to achieve nuclear restraint, conventional balance and conflict resolution.”

 

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