#Day50: ‘Kashmir A Bilateral Issue, Pak Should not Internationalise It,’ says Akbar

The Indian Express

SRINAGAR

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to appoint 22 special envoys to rake up the Kashmir issue at the United Nations was slammed by the Indian government on Saturday, with Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar saying Pakistan shouldn’t internationalize the issue.

In a statement to ANI, Akbar said, “As far as Kashmir issue is concerned, Pakistan mustn’t internationalize it, it is a bilateral issue.”

Taking a dig at Pakistan, Akbar added, “It is Pakistan’s individual right if it wants its MPs to go for free tourism.”

Pakistan on Saturday further needled India on the Kashmir issue, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif nominating 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to be despatched to world capitals to highlight the problem.

“We will remind the United Nations its long-held promise of self-determination to the Kashmiri people,” Sharif said.

Sharif stepped up Pakistan’s diplomatic offensive against India and said he has decided to send the parliamentarians for highlighting the Kashmir issue in different parts of the World.

Pakistan’s move came against the backdrop of escalating war of words between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the mass civil uprising in the Kashmir Valley after popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by forces on July 08, 2016.

Meanwhile, Radio Pakistan reported, “The Prime Minister urged the special envoys to ensure their efforts for highlighting the Kashmir cause across the world so that he can shake the collective conscience of the international community during his address at the UN this September.”

Sharif said the Kashmir problem is the most persistent failure of the UN and that the world body must establish its relevance.

“We will also make it clear to India that it was India that approached the UN several decades back on Kashmir dispute but now it is not fulfilling its promise,” he added.

(The news item first appeared in The Indian Express.)

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