M Fazal Elahi
All eyes remained glued to their television sets throughout the address of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, at the United Nations General Assembly ((UNGA) on September 21, 2016. The consensus across every segment of the Pakistani society, vis-à-vis the Prime Minister’s address, is that PM has effectively highlighted the Kashmir issue at the world forum. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s strong assertion that the long-pending Kashmir issue, a bone of contention between ever-belligerent India and its neighbour Pakistan for almost seven decades now, must be resolved, on priority basis, according to the UN Resolution of 1948. Urging the world body to prevail on India to allow its fact-finding mission to visit occupied Kashmir, to oversee the ongoing Indian atrocities against the unarmed and innocent people of that region, couldn’t have been more appropriate. Denial on the part of India to grant this request of the United Nations, or for that matter of any other country of the world, would expose India’s ill-intent and confirm the continuing Indian vandalism and brutalities in held Kashmir; a heartrending scenario that the international community continues to watch across the world media every day. Pakistan Premier’s offer to India for talks on all bilateral issues, particularly the critical issue of Kashmir, reflects the magnanimity of Pakistan and its sincere desire to have cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with that country. However, this offer must not sidetrack the main issue of Kashmir. It is a plain fact that no peace could ever be established between the two warring nations until the core issue of Kashmir is resolved. The world body (UN) and the United States of America (USA) and its allies must not only take immediate cognisance of the Kashmir issue but also mobilize world opinion in favour of the subjugated and battered people of occupied Kashmir. Pakistan must also further bolster its efforts in this regard. Emphasis must be laid on immediate resolution of the Kashmir problem, through a plebiscite held in the occupied territory. The sooner the world community realizes the truth that in resolving of the Kashmir issue lies the establishment of peace not only between India and Pakistan, but the entire region, the better it would be for all the stake holders.