The Bold Voice of J&K

Willing to engage with Pakistan without terror shadow: Modi

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UNITED NATIONS: Rebuffing Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue at the UN, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Saturday that he was prepared to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with it “without the shadow of terrorism” but asked it to create an “appropriate environment” for that.
Without making a direct reference to the strident speech of his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif here on Friday in which he had insisted on a plebiscite in Kashmir, Modi made it clear that “raising issues in this forum is not the way to make progress towards resolving issues between our two countries”.
In his maiden address to the 193-member UN General Assembly, the Indian leader underlined that his government placed the highest priority on advancing friendship and cooperation with its neighbours, including Pakistan.
Speaking in Hindi, Modi said, “I am prepared to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere, without the shadow of terrorism, to promote our friendship and cooperation.
“However, Pakistan must also take its responsibility seriously to create an appropriate environment,” he told the Assembly.
Modi’s 35-minute address covered a number of subjects such as terrorism, including its resurgence in West Asia, reforms of the United Nations, including the Security Council, and the need for a more inclusive global development.
Talking about India’s neighbourhood, the Prime Minister said that India desired a peaceful and stable environment for its development. “A nation’s destiny is linked to its neighbourhood. That is why my government has placed the highest priority on advancing friendship and cooperation with her neighbours.”
He told Pakistan that instead of raising issues at the UN, “we should be thinking about the victims of floods in Jammu and Kashmir. In India, we have organised massive flood relief operations and have also offered assistance for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir”.
“India is part of the developing world, but we are prepared to share our modest resources with those countries that need this assistance as much as we do,” he said.
Describing the present as “a time of great flux and change”, Modi said the world was witnessing tensions and turmoil on a scale rarely seen in recent history. Although there were no major wars “there is absence of real peace and uncertainty about the future”.
He referred to the Asia-Pacific region and said that it was “still concerned about maritime security that is fundamental to its future.”
While “extremism and fault lines” were growing in West Asia, Modi said, “our own region continues to face the destabilising threat of terrorism”.
Earlier, the Prime Minister met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during which he referred to raising of the Kashmir issue by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif while implying that the global body was not the right forum to discuss it.
Modi’s reference to the issue in a meeting with the UN chief came a day after Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly here.
Official sources said Modi referred to Sharif’s remarks on Kashmir in the meeting with the UN Secretary- General and implied that the UN was not the appropriate forum to raise it as it was a bilateral matter.
In his address, Sharif had yesterday needled India and said that more than six decades ago, the UN had passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise,” he had said. (PTI)

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