In His 1st UN Address, Modi Says Willing To Resolve Kashmir Issue With Pakistan

28 September 2014
Kashmir Observer

New York: Without indulging in a war of words with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is prepared to work towards resolving the Kashmir issue with the neighbouring country but by indulging in a serious bilateral dialogue in a peaceful atmosphere, without the shadow of terrorism. He asserted said that such issues should be resolved through cooperation and not by raising them at an international forum like the United Nations General Assembly. 'Raising issues in this forum is not the way to make progress towards resolving issues between our two countries. My government is committed to resolving the Kashmir issue in a peaceful environment. However, Pakistan must also take its responsibility seriously to create an appropriate environment,' Modi said at his speech at the UNGA. Modi also said that he believed that a nation's destiny is linked to its neighbourhood which is why the Indian government has placed the highest priority on advancing friendship and cooperation with the neighbours. He also advised Pakistan that instead of raising issues at the UN, 'we should be thinking about the victims of floods in Jammu and Kashmir. In India, we have organised massive flood relief operations and have also offered assistance for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir'. Maintaining that no country, whether big or small, is free from the threats of terrorism, he said, 'all countries should put aside our differences and mount a concerted effort to combat terrorism. I urge you to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.' He referred to the Asia-Pacific region and said that it was 'still concerned about maritime security that is fundamental to its future.' While 'extremism and fault lines' were growing in West Asia, Modi said, 'our own region continues to face the destabilising threat of terrorism'. Describing the present as 'a time of great flux and change', Modi said the world was witnessing tensions and turmoil on a scale rarely seen in recent history. Although there were no major wars 'there is absence of real peace and uncertainty about the future'. Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration but India in August withdrew from planned talks between their foreign secretaries as Pakistan wanted to consult first with separatists in the disputed region of Kashmir. In his UN address Friday, Nawaz criticised India's withdrawal from the talks as a 'missed opportunity.' Sharif said the 'core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved. This is the responsibility of the international community... We cannot draw a veil over the issue of Kashmir until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.' Nawaz said many opportunities for prosperity in South Asia had been missed, because of unresolved conflicts in the region. 'We have a choice today [to either] continue with the status quo or to seize the moment to resolve all outstanding issues and free up our shared energies for cooperation,' he added. Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam Talking about the country's tradition and culture, Indian premier said that India believes in the ideology of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam, which means the world is one family.' He also advocated the need and importance of Yoga in today's culture. He even called for adopting an International Yoga Day to the UNGA. 'India is part of the developing world, but we are prepared to share our modest resources with those countries that need this assistance as much as we do,' he said. His 35-minute address covered a number of subjects such as terrorism, including its resurgence in West Asia, reforms of the United Nations, including the Security Council, and the need for a more inclusive global development.