At UN, Nawaz to propose steps for defusing tensions

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will propose new measures to defuse tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary during his address at the UN General Assembly session next week.

“Premier Nawaz will propose to India a series of new steps to bring the situation along the LoC and working boundary under control,” a senior official who has seen the draft of the prime minister’s speech told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

Although the official did not provide any details, Premier Nawaz is expected to suggest better coordination mechanisms to avoid frequent ceasefire violations.

The intensity and frequency of ceasefire violations along the LoC and working boundary have seen an unprecedented increase over the past few weeks, leaving scores of civilians dead on both sides. Both sides accused the other of triggering the hostilities.

According to the official, Prime Minister Nawaz, in his address, will highlight Pakistan’s policy of a peaceful neighbourhood. “Pakistan does not want that situation to get out of control, even if there is no resumption of composite dialogue,” he said.

However, the official added that Pakistan will forcefully raise the longstanding Kashmir dispute at the General Assembly session – something that will certainly invite a strong reaction from India. He also disclosed that the government had decided in principle to raise the issue of Indian interference in Balochistan, Karachi and the tribal areas before the UN.

“The strategy on how to present the dossier against India is being worked out,” the official said.

When asked, the official insisted that the government had ‘credible and hard evidence’ of India’s involvement in creating unrest in Pakistan.

To a question, the official ruled out a meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan at the sidelines of the UN session.

Nawaz is expected to address the UN General Assembly session on September 30. He will also have several bilateral meetings at the sidelines of the UN session in New York.

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