PRESS RELEASE

Top UN leaders call for resumption of Pakistan-India dialogue

New York, 07 December, 2016

The top UN leadership has called for resumption of dialogue and de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan in their meetings with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi in New York.

During his visit, the MoS met Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Jeffery Feltman and the Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres. He was accompanied in all these meetings by Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi.

MoS Fatemi, in his meetings at UN Headquarters, reiterated Pakistanís commitment to multilateralism. He said Pakistan expected the UN to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in the region, especially in the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Recalling that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had reached out to India and made efforts to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, he expressed disappointment at the efforts not being reciprocated.

The SAPM also briefed them about continued human rights excesses being committed by Indian occupation forces on the Kashmiri people. Efforts to quash a popular, peaceful, spontaneous and indigenous uprising in IOK had led to the killing of over a hundred people, injuries to thousands with over six hundred blinded by the brutal use of pellet guns.

To divert international attention from the atrocities, Indian forces had also stepped up ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. A particularly deplorable aspect of this escalation was the deliberate targeting of civilians.

India had also closed the doors on any bilateral engagement. In this situation, the UN had a moral responsibility to call for ending human rights violations in IOK, play its role in resolution of this long festering dispute and help in immediately de-escalating tensions.

On Afghanistan, Mr. Fatemi said Pakistan was ready to play its part for peace and stability in the country. Pakistan had extended the deadline for return of Afghan refugees, as it believed that Afghan refugees should go back to their homeland with dignity and honour.

The Special Assistant also briefed them on the consolidation of democracy in Pakistan, the country's economic revival and its counter terrorism efforts. The Counter Terrorism operations had been very successful in eliminating terrorist infrastructure and hideouts. This campaign, he said, would continue until the last terrorist was eliminated.

Deputy Secretary General Eliasson expressed concern at the regional situation and called for the lowering of tensions. He said Pakistan was an important member of the United Nations and had an important role in the region. He also appreciated Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for decades.

Mr. Fatemi conveyed the good wishes and greetings of the Prime Minister to Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres. He expressed the hope that the fruitful cooperation between Pakistan and the UN would further enhance with Mr Guterres at the helm.

The Minister of State also met a group of Arab Ambassadors during his one-day stay in New York.