Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks at the UN

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif delivered a comprehensive speech while addressing the UN General Assembly in which he tried to encompass almost all global and regional issues. The prime minister read out a very-well crafted speech, especially the part, which dealt with Pakistan relations with India was written with care and with an intention to make a new beginning. However Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech the very next day put a damper on all peace overtures that Nawaz Shairf extended in his speech.

Nawaz Sharif noted that Pakistan and India have “wasted massive resources in an arms race. We could have used those resources for the economic well-being of our people We still have that opportunity. Pakistan and India can prosper together; and the entire region would benefit from our cooperation. We stand ready to re-engage with India in a substantive and purposeful dialogue.”“

While recognizing the Kashmir issue as the main bone of contention between the two countries the prime minister said, “The United Nations must continue to remain attentive to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and the full realization of the right to self-determination of its people,” he emphasized, reminding the world that suffering of the people cannot be brushed under the carpet, because of power politics.”

The Indian prime minister unfortunately did not show any flexibility or even willingness to mend fences with Pakistan. His remarks that Pakistan was directly responsible for cross border terrorism and it was harboring terrorists as well did an utmost damage to already strained relations between the two countries. The Indian side, might have chosen a softer path especially when it has a desire to get Most Favored Nation (MFN) from Pakistan. But Indian prime minister’s tirade has now put the Pakistan leadership on the defensive in terms of taking any decision about the MFN issue.

On Afghanistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif unfurled a future roadmap when he said, “I reassured President Karzai that we do not wish to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs; nor do we have any favorites in that country. In fact, we have an earnest hope that the Afghans themselves will unite for peace, prosperity and development of their great country.”

He added, Pakistan encourages United Nations’ efforts for the stabilization of Afghanistan, he said.“We will work together with Afghanistan for regional and economic cooperation that would establish and reinforce regional trade, energy and communications corridors. A manifestation of our solidarity with the Afghan people has been our willingness to host millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan for many decades”.

As prime minister rightly said peace in Afghanistan cannot be achieved until and unless the neighboring courtiers strictly stick to the policy of non-interference in the affairs of Afghanistan as pointed out by the prime minster. The Afghan side has been accusing Pakistan of cross-border activities and vice versa. This atmosphere of mistrust on both

sides needs to be obviated if a genuine peace is wished in the war-torn country. As it goes actions should speak louder than words, so let us see what practical steps leaderships of both Pakistan and Afghanistan take for a lasting peace in the region.