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UN chief may raise Kashmir issue

UN chief may raise Kashmir issue
Highlights

India will soar high if Pakistan stoops low: Akbaruddin

United Nations: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is likely to use the opportunity of discussions during the high-level UN General Assembly session that begins here next week to raise the Kashmir issue, the UN chief's spokesperson has said.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric during the daily press briefing said that the UN chief has underscored the need for dialogue as the only way to resolve the issue and, "as part of the solution for the current crisis in Kashmir, to make sure that human rights aspects are very much dealt with, as well".

Guterres emphasised that "dialogue' between India and Pakistan is an "absolute essential element' for reaching a solution on the Kashmir issue, and said his good offices are available should both sides ask for it and called for full respect of human rights.

"Well, our capacity is related to good offices, and good offices can only be implemented when the parties accept it. And, on the other hand, it relates to advocacy, and the advocacy was expressed and will be maintained," Guterres said during his press conference ahead of the UN General Assembly session.

India will soar high if Pakistan "stoops low" by raising the Kashmir issue at a high-level session next week, Akbaruddin, India's top envoy to the United Nations has asserted, warning that Islamabad may want to mainstream hate speech after normalising terrorism in the past.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to raise the Kashmir issue at the UNGA session in New York on September 27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to speak on the same day.

Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Prime Minister Khan will "forcefully" raise the issue before the international community during his address to the UNGA.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin was asked whether he expected the Kashmir issue to come up during the UN General Assembly session, and, if so, how will India tackle it.

"What you're telling me is that it will be more of the same, much more of the same from the side of one country. If that is so what is our response? So let me put it this way.

That it is for every country to determine its trajectory of how it wants to approach global platforms. There may be some who stoop low. Our response to them is we soar high. They may stoop low, we soar high," he said.

"We are confident that we will soar. We have given you examples of how we will not stoop. We will soar when they stoop low," he said. Akbaruddin also laid out the focus and priorities of Prime Minister Modi when he arrives for the 74th UN General Assembly session.

He said a plethora of plurilateral and bilateral engagements and meetings of the Prime Minister outline the examples of how India will soar higher.

"What they want to do is their call. We've seen them mainstream terrorism in the past. And what you're now telling me is they may want to mainstream hate speech. It's their call, if they want to do that. Poison pens don't work for too long," he said.

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