PM reaches London after hectic diplomacy at UN

  • UN experts say with Sharif’s effective advocacy of Kashmir cause, his message was getting through to international community
  • Analysts term PM’s UNGA address a ‘forceful articulation’ of Pakistan’s concerns for regional peace

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached London Friday on his way back home after five days of intense diplomatic efforts at the United Nations where he highlighted the serious violations of human rights taking place in Indian occupied Kashmir and nudged the world body to implement its resolutions calling for the exercise of the right of self-determination by the Kashmiri people.

The premier will stay in London for three days before departing for motherland.

Earlier, PM Sharif was seen off at Kennedy International Airport by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani and senior officials of the Pakistan Mission here.

In an interaction with Pakistani media on Thursday, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the progress made by his “Kashmir Mission” aimed at security, justice and freedom for the Kashmiri people.

According to UN experts, with Prime Minister Sharif’s effective advocacy of the Kashmir cause, his message was definitely getting through to the international community.

The main feature of his visit was his much-awaited address to the United Nations General Assembly in which he dealt at length with the decades-old Kashmir dispute before high-level delegates from around the world.

Sharif called for an international investigation into the killings in Kashmir that has now reached 108, with thousands more injured, along with 150 blinded by pellets from deadly guns fired by Indian security forces.

The prime minister said on Thursday he had raised the issue of Indian crimes against Kashmiri people with every leader that he met, including US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The premier also held meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Saudi Crown Prince Prince Nayef, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzi Abe, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his stay in New York.

He said now it was the responsibility of the global community that it took notice of Indian actions in occupied land of Kashmiris.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had already offered to send a fact-finding mission to Indian occupied Kashmir, a move rejected by India.

Now, Turkey has proposed a similar OIC mission for determining the extent to which Kashmiri people were being subjected to unprecedented use of brute force by India’s over 700,000 troops.

The prime minister, who had handed over to the UN chief a dossier on Indian atrocities in Kashmir, also said the document would be shared with the permanent members of UN Security Council, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Pakistani diplomats around the world were under also instructions to apprise the governments they were accredited to, of the human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir. The campaign to expose Indian atrocities on the Kashmiri people would be taken forward, averred the prime minister.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his meeting with Nepalese Foreign Minister Dr Prakash Sharen Mahat on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session before his departure from the US, stressed the need for early finalisation of Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Nepal.

Sharif said the present bilateral trade volume of $135 million needed to be enhanced, adding that the two countries could increase cooperation in agriculture, medicine, and infrastructure development.

The Nepalese foreign minister said Pakistan was an important country of South Asia, and his country wanted to promote ties with it.


Defence and political analysts have termed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address at the United Nations General Assembly session as a ‘forceful articulation’ of Pakistan’s concerns for the region’s sustainable peace.

Diplomatic analyst Dr Raffat Hussain said the prime minister in his speech “effectively narrated Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir and its resolution for peace in the region”.

“Keeping main focus on Kashmir and inviting world’s attention towards the grave situation in the valley, the prime minister has categorically made it clear that the region’s peace is linked with the resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” Dr Hussain said.

He said the prime minister apprised the world body that arms race in the region was resulting in tension which was against the spirit of peace. While addressing serious issues, he said, the prime minister maintained a “balanced tone.”

“Whether discussing India, Kashmir or Afghanistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chose careful words so as not to contribute to escalation of tense situation,” he said.

On Afghanistan, Dr Hussain appreciated the prime minister for highlighting Pakistan’s facilitation in Afghan peace and hosting its refugees for over three decades.

“He (prime minister) rightly highlighted Pakistan’s positive role for peace in Afghanistan,” he added.

Political analyst Dr Rasool Bux Raees said the prime minister’s speech outlined all significant issues in the best interests of Pakistan. “It was a balanced and effective speech, and covered maximum points in a positive manner,” he said.

Prime Minister Sharif’s calling upon the United Nations and clearly reminding it of its obligation to conduct a plebiscite in Kashmir was laudable, Raees said.

Defence analyst Brigadier (r) Mahmood Shah also termed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech as “balanced” that emphatically highlighted the plight of Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

“As a head of the government, Nawaz Sharif has conveyed his message giving indication of a country without even naming it,” he said. Those critical of the prime minister’s address had in fact their own economic and vested interests, Shah added.