UN SG assures PM Nawaz of constructive role in region

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DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 19 (APP): United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres Thursday assured Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to play a very constructive and positive role for countries in the region including Pakistan.
The Prime Minister met the Secretary General here on the sidelines of the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum at the Congress Centre.
The Prime Minister said Kashmir was an international dispute, which remained on the agenda of the Security Council.
He said a sustained dialogue process on all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir was vital to make progress.
It was in that spirit Pakistan invited India for discussions on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and in line with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. India did not respond positively, he added.
The Prime Minister said his government’s foremost priority was to build a peaceful neighbourhood. “We are committed to lasting peace and security in our region and an environment conducive to economic cooperation; which is in the interest of all the people of South Asia,” he added.
“We are convinced that the welfare of the people of our
region lies in economic progress and prosperity. This cannot be achieved if we are not able to resolve our problems and cooperate with each other,” the Prime Minister said.
He said New Delhi was fueling instability in an already tense region by adopting a no talks posture, vitiating the atmosphere through incendiary statements, and trying to muzzle the voice for the legitimate right to self determination of the Kashmiri people.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the people of Kashmir were guaranteed a free, transparent and impartial plebiscite by the resolutions of the UN Security Council. This promise was yet to materialize, he added.
“We look forward to your leadership and good offices.
The United Nations has longstanding responsibility to play a role in the resolution of this issue,” he said.
The Secretary General assured the Prime Minister that he was fully cognizant of the sensitivity of the issues between India and Pakistan which has security consequences for the region.
The UN Secretary General praised Pakistan’s contribution for the United Nations and peacemaking operations as well as hosting millions of Afghan refugees. He said that he would play a very constructive and positive role for the countries in the region including Pakistan.
The Prime Minister also raised the issue of Indus Water Treaty with the UN Secretary General.
“I am pleased to meet you soon after your assumption of Office. It gives me great pleasure to see you leading the premier international institution,” he added.
The Prime Minister appreciated his inspirational role as the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. “Your visits to Pakistan in that tenure enabled you to understand our challenges in hosting millions of refugees.”
“Pakistan believes that you were the ideal candidate for Secretary Generalship. It needed a leader, to take it forward in to the 21st century,” he added.
The Prime Minister said that the priorities Antonio Guterres had set soon after assuming his office were also encouraging. The UN Member States need to put Peace First, he added.
“Pakistan assures you of its support and cooperation to enable you to fulfill your mandate”, the Prime Minister said, adding, “We also support your call for prioritizing conflict prevention and sustainable peace.”
He also invited the UN Secretary General to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience. “Your visit will showcase your support and commitment to peace and progress in the region,” the Prime Minister added.