UN to witness Modi-Imran war of words over J&K

UN to witness Modi-Imran war of words over J&K

Imran will speak after Modi, India will use “Right to Reply” to respond to Pakistan PM’s rants on Kashmir

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) and Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan (L)

The United Nations is likely to witness a war of words between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Friday with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart from the neighbouring country, Imran Khan, set to address the General Assembly.

Modi will address the UN General Assembly in New York in the evening. Khan will deliver his speech shortly after Modi.

Prime Minister is likely to focus on pressing challenges for the international community – a still-fragile global economy, turbulence and tension in many parts of the world, growth and spread of terrorism, particularly cross-border terrorism, climate change and the endemic global challenge of poverty. He is expected to stress that meeting the challenges would require stronger global commitment and concerted multilateral action. He will reaffirm India’s commitment to reformed, responsive, effective and inclusive multilateralism, sources told the DH.

Modi may also touch upon his government’s initiatives for economic reforms and flagship welfare and development programmes.

Khan, on the other hand, is expected to use the opportunity to continue Pakistan’s tirade against India on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan has been running a diplomatic campaign against India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Government in New Delhi on August 5 stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its Special Status and reorganized the state into two Union Territories.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Government in Islamabad protested against New Delhi’s decisions, calling it a “unilateral” and “illegal” move to change the status quo in the “disputed” region in violation of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and against the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

Islamabad has been accusing New Delhi of committing atrocities against people of Kashmir. It has also been protesting against restrictions Modi Government imposed in parts of J&K on August 5 and the detention of the local leaders and the activists.

New Delhi has been insisting that its decisions on J&K were its “internal” affairs of India, aimed at ensuring good governance, peace and prosperity in the region and would have no impact on its de-facto border with Pakistan.

Sources told the DH that India would use its “Right to Reply” if Pakistan Prime Minister raked up the issue of J&K in his speech at the UN General Assembly.

“No country can accept interference in its internal affairs, certainly not India,” a senior official said on New Delhi’s possible response to Pakistan Prime Minister’s rant on J&K.

New Delhi is expected to argue in its response that Modi Government’s recent legislative measures on J&K would make its welfare programmes and schemes available to citizens in the two newly constituted Union Territories, thus ending long-standing discrimination against refugees and underprivileged sections as well as women, including on property rights and representations in local bodies, apart from ensuring protection of juvenile rights against domestic violence and rights to education, information and work.

India will also seek to turn the table on Pakistan highlighting how it has allowed itself to become a hub of international terrorism and how it exported terror not only to its neighbours in South Asia but also around the world.

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