J&K 'core' issue, India raising 'terror bogey' to stall talks: Pakistan
United Nations: After India asked it to "give up terrorism" and sit for talks, Pakistan has asserted that "core" issue of Jammu and Kashmir will always be on top of the agenda of any bilateral dialogue.
It alleged that India was using the "terrorism bogey" to stall dialogue. Pakistan also blamed India for the unrest and terror on its soil, saying it has handed over to UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon dossiers in this regard.
Pakistan exercised its Right of Reply to respond to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's address at the UN General Assembly yesterday in which she had said that instead of the four-point peace initiative proposed by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it should address just "one issue" of giving up terrorism.
"Using the terrorism bogey, India has not only stalled the bilateral dialogue but also vitiated the overall atmosphere between the two countries," Counsellor in Pakistan's Permanent Mission to the UN Bilal Ahmad alleged.
"The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be cast aside by empty rhetoric. It has been and will always be on top of the agenda of any talks between India and Pakistan. ...It is therefore disingenuous of India to ignore the serious peace initiative proposed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan from this august forum," he said.
He informed the UN General Assembly that Pakistan has yesterday handed over to the UN Secretary-General dossiers containing, what it called, "evidence" of alleged Indian involvement.
He said the dossiers include details of alleged "Indian interference and support for terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi as well as its security and intelligence agencies' link with the Tehrike-e-Taliban especially in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)".
A day after Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN, Swaraj used the same forum to raise the issue of "illegal occupation of parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir" by Pakistan and said terror attacks from there are engineered to legitimise it.
She made it clear that terrorism emanating from Pakistan is hampering normalisation of bilateral ties as she underlined that "talks and terror cannot go together".
"We do not need four points, we need just one- give up terrorism and let us sit down and talk," Swaraj had said in her 25-minute speech before the 193-member body.
India-Pak ties are going through a chill particularly after cancellation of NSA-level talks in August following differences over the agenda proposed by Islamabad, and a planned meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz.
India had insisted that the talks would be held on terror issue.
Ahmad said while proclaiming its willingness to talk, India has imposed pre-conditions, knowing that these would be unacceptable to Pakistan.
"India's insistence on limiting the talks to a one point agenda proves that it is neither interested nor serious in engaging in a genuine dialogue," he said.
"India seems to suggest that acts of terrorism in Pakistan are acceptable," he said.
India had also exercised its Right of Reply after Sharif's address, disagreeing with the Pakistani leader's remarks that it is the "primary victim" of terrorism.
First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Abhishek Singh had said that Pakistan is actually a victim of its own policies of breeding and sponsoring terrorists.
"The heart of the matter is a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft," Singh had said.
On Sharif's remarks that Jammu and Kashmir is under foreign occupation, Singh said Jammu and Kashmir is underforeign occupation "except that the occupier in question is Pakistan".
Ahmad said the Pakistani Prime Minister's peace initiative is in line with his vision of a friendly neighbourhood that he enunciated immediately after taking office two years ago.
"The international community supports dialogue between India and Pakistan. Despite India's hostile attitude, it remains our desire to move forward in an open and constructive manner. We hope that India will respond positively in the interest of peace and prosperity, the cherished collective objective of our peoples," he said.
He said India should "let the Kashmiris freely decide their future in the UN mandated plebiscite as promised to them by the UNSC resolutions."
Ahmad also cited various UN Security Council resolutions, which he said call for an impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations in accordance with the will of the Kashmiris.