New York: Upping the ante on the eve of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the UN General Assembly, Pakistan has accused India of ceasefire violations, holding “sham” elections in Jammu and Kashmir while putting the onus on it for cancellation of the NSA-level talks.
At the same time, Sharif’s adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan was ready to hold talks with India “at any level, without any preconditions” to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute.
Addressing a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir here, he said India has resorted to “unprovoked and indiscriminate” ceasefire violations across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border and sought impartial investigation into it.
“We request the OIC Contact Group to impress upon India to refrain from ceasefire violations, which are becoming a threat to peace in the region,” he said. Pressing for plebiscite in Kashmir, Aziz said, “India continues to hold sham elections in J-K, with coercive military presence”.
He also accused India of trying to quell the Kashmiri struggle by using “brute force”.
“India is attempting to change the demographic make-up of Jammu and Kashmir by settling non-State, non-Muslim subjects” in the state, he claimed.
On the cancellation of NSA-level talks last month, Aziz said India had set pre-conditions by insisting on keeping the Kashmir issue out of the agenda and objecting to Pakistan’s interaction with the Hurriyat leaders.
“On its part, Pakistan is ready to hold talks with India, at any level, without any preconditions, in order to address each other’s concerns and establish lasting peace by resolving all outstanding issues, especially the J-K dispute,” he said.
Aziz said Pakistan supports engagement with India in a “constructive and purposeful” dialogue to resolve this issue. His remarks were made a day before Sharif is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly annual debate where he is expected to rake up the Kashmir issue.