DAVOS: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday called on the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to use his leadership and good offices and play in role in resolving the longstanding issue of Kashmir.
The prime minister had his first meeting with the UNSG since the latter assumed office earlier this month, on the sidelines of annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
PM Sharif highlighted the issue of Kashmir saying that it is an international dispute which remains unresolved on the agenda of the Security Council and a sustained dialogue on the issue is essential to make progress.
He said that Pakistan had invited India for discussions on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.
He expressed disappointed that India did not respond positively and has adopted a no-talks posture and vitiate the atmosphere through incendiary statements which is fueling instability in an already tense region.
Gutteres assured the Prime Minister that he is fully aware of the sensitivity of the issues between India and Pakistan which has security consequences for the region. He reaffirmed to play a constructive and positive role for the countries in the region including Pakistan.
PM Sharif reiterated that Pakistan is committed to lasting peace and security in the region, and an environment conducive to economic cooperation which is in the interest of all the people of South Asia. He said that the foremost priority of the government of Pakistan is to build a peaceful neighbourhood.
“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,” reiterated the PM.
The prime minister congratulated Mr. Guterres and said that Pakistan believed that he was the ideal candidate to lead the international institution which needs a leader to take it forward in to the 21st century.
“The priorities you have set out, soon after assuming your office, are also encouraging. Indeed, the UN member states need to put peace first,” stated the PM.
PM Sharif recalled Guterres inspirational role as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “Your visits to Pakistan in that tenure enabled you to understand our challenges in hosting millions of refugees,” he said.
He assured that Pakistan will support and cooperate to enable him to fulfill its mandate, and the recent call of the UNSG to prioritise conflict prevention and sustainable peace.
He invited the UNSG to visit Pakistan which will showcase support and commitment to peace and progress in the region.
Guterres praised Pakistan’s contribution for the United Nations peace keeping operations as well as hosting millions of Afghan refugees.