Pakistan committed against extremism, but drones must stop: Nawaz at UN

Published: September 27, 2013
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"We stand ready to re-engage with India in a substantive and purposeful dialogue," said Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

"We stand ready to re-engage with India in a substantive and purposeful dialogue," said Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, said that his country condemned terrorism “in all its forms and manifestations”, but the use of drone strikes could never be accepted as it was “a continued violation of our [Pakistan’s] territorial integrity.”

The Pakistani premier told UN that the “war against terrorism must be waged within the framework of international law. The use of armed drones in the border areas of Pakistan is a continued violation of our territorial integrity.”

Nawaz emphasised that Pakistan had suffered immense losses to the plague of terrorism and was not prepared to endure any more. Therefore, the situation would have to change.

“We have lost 40,000 precious lives of men, women and children, which include 8,000 defense and security personnel. There have been colossal damages to social and physical infrastructure as well. Our economy has been denied the opportunity to grow fully.

“This must change now.”

To that effect, he said he had “urged the United States to cease these strikes, so that we could avert further casualties and suffering.”

The Kashmir issue

Nawaz said he appreciated the UN’s role as an anchor for global peace and stability in the world, but that the UN needed to attend to the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and the implementation of the right of self-determination there.

“The suffering of the people cannot be brushed under the carpet, because of power politics,” Nawaz noted, with regard to human rights violations in Kashmir.

Though he reaffirmed his faith in the UN as the only legitimate body to deal with international conflicts, on the matter of Kashmir, he expressed his veiled criticism.

“The issue of Jammu and Kashmir was presented to the Security Council in January 1948; and yet the issue remains unresolved after nearly seven decades.”

Minimum nuclear deterrence

The Prime Minister told the General Assembly that as a “responsible nuclear weapon state”, his country was committed to the cause of non-proliferation, disarmament and the policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence, but would always keep regional strategic and national interests in mind.

“Our position on the proposed Fissile Material Treaty is determined by our national security interests and the objective of strategic stability in South Asia,” said Nawaz.

He went on to state that Pakistan needed and was qualified to have full access to civil nuclear technology for the safe and peaceful purposes of economic development.

“Pakistan has impeccable credentials to join the multilateral export control regime, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” he continued. “Pakistan will continue to participate constructively in the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process, which is a laudable initiative.”

Dialogue with India

Concerning matters with India, Nawaz reiterated the massive resources that both countries had wasted in an arms race mostly directed at each other. He said he would like to change the picture now to a scene mutual cooperation and benefit through dialogue.

“We stand ready to re-engage with India in a substantive and purposeful dialogue.”

“I am looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here in New York to make a new beginning. We have a solid basis to do that. We can build on the Lahore Accord signed in 1999, which contained a road map for the resolution ofour differences through peaceful negotiations.

“I am committed to working for a peaceful and economically prosperous region. This is what our people want and this is what I have long aspired for.”

Peace in Afghanistan

“The people of Afghanistan are and should remain masters of their own destiny. We support an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, leading to national reconciliation.”

The Prime Minister also noted that Pakistan “encourages United Nations’ efforts for the stabilization of Afghanistan. We will work together with Afghanistan for regional and economic cooperation that would establish and reinforce regional trade, energy and communications corridors.”

Condemnation of chemical weapons in Syria

Referring to Pakistan’s membership in the Chemical Weapons Convention, Nawaz said his government condemned its use and welcomed the joint US-Russia plan to secure and destroy them in Syria.

He urged all the stakeholders in Syria to resolve the political and security crises soon, as more war would only lead to more killings.

“We appeal to the Syrian Government and opposition groups to move to the negotiating table in Geneva to prepare a road map for national reconciliation and the necessary political transitions,” said the PM.

He added that:

“Acceptance of the Geneva One document and a decision on the dates for the convening of the Geneva Two Conference will be a big step in ending the crisis in Syria.”

Palestine’s membership

Nawaz Sharif also said he hoped Palestine would soon join the General Assembly as a full member state.

“Last year, Palestine was given the status of non-member observer state by this Assembly. We hope that soon Palestine will join this body as a full member state.

“We are glad that the stalled peace process has started again. It should lead to the consolidation of an independent, viable and contiguous state of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.”

Full speech of the prime minister can be viewed here (pdf).

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Hedgefunder
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:02PM

    So when is the next meeting, for deciding any action ?
    This charade will be played for over tenure of this admin, and not a lot will happen, except create more unstable Pakistan !

    Recommend

  • Emran
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:02PM

    I doubt this all was said by NS. How is he going to face Obama :p

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  • ModiFied
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:04PM

    After reading NS’s statement on Kashmir, I am very doubtful if the meeting between two PMs will take place in NY. It will be politically suicidal for Indian PM to hold talks. Just wait for strong rebuttal from India.

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  • faysal
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:31PM

    1st time a Pak PM raised issues of Drones in UN…excellent speech covering all our interests and presenting our case strongly before the world..

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  • Naveen
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:45PM

    @ModiFied:
    Non Residents should stop meddling in India’s internal affairs. Political costs will be decided by Indians who live in India.

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  • sid
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:52PM

    @ModiFied:
    shameless Congress party can do anything……..just waiting for next elections……Let them have Chai biscute but there will be no compromise no Kashmir……….Indians will teach congress a nice lesson………….

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  • wiji
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:57PM

    we will raise our voices against all illegitimate acts by US including Drone Attacks and SPYING. we must condemn and we must appreciate our PM for his brave stance.

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  • ashar
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:14PM

    God Bless you NS, May Allah give you more courage and wisdom to make Pakistan a better country.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:16PM

    So now the questions for the fan club remains – who is the real leader then? The one who stands in front of comity of nations and condemns the drone attacks and vehemently asks Uncle Sam to cease such strikes forthwith or the so called leader of CHANGE who led a few hundred people on a photo op mission to Tank and lying that he went to the tribal areas?

    While we are on the subject of UN, this same PM for life of Peoples Republic of Facebook was suppose to lead a protest outside UN last year with his supporters but called off this protest at the 11th hour.

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  • Azmat
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:21PM

    This is what we expect from an elected Leader.
    Nice to hear his speech covering every issue from Drones to Terrorism, from Kashmir to Syria and specially the Palestine Issue with mentioning its borders courageously.

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  • Hedgefunder
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:33PM

    @Naveen:
    Non Residents should stop meddling in India’s internal affairs. Political costs will be decided by Indians who live in India

    Yes, Ok, but don’t forget that this growth and development was done also with our capital and investments, hence we also have vested interests in order to look after that.

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  • Umer
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:34PM

    Pakistan committed against extremism, but drones must stop: Nawaz at UN

    Pakistan committed against extremism, but since something is happening on Mars so we wont do anything about extremism.

    Recommend

  • Gratgy
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:58PM

    “Pakistan has impeccable credentials to join the multilateral export control regime, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group,”

    Did NS go to the UN to do stand up comedy

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  • Pmahmud
    Sep 28, 2013 - 12:18AM

    NS has delivered a strong well balanced message of peace and harmony. The ball is in Bharti court and on Sunday you will hear their mantra of deception and evasion.

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  • Fawad
    Sep 28, 2013 - 12:52AM

    Nawaz doesn’t have the charisma of leadership or aggressiveness. He needs to learn from Musharraf how to be leader.

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  • sid
    Sep 28, 2013 - 1:04AM

    @Naveen:
    keep your advice to yourself………

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  • Naveen
    Sep 28, 2013 - 1:05AM

    @Hedgefunder:
    Was that supposed to be a neocolonial claim of non-Residents in India? If not, then I would urge you to cite the data as to how big a factor have been Non-Residents to Indian Economy’s growth (after discounting the cost of brain drain associated with the migration of people educated and fed out of this poor country’s resources). Kindly don’t harp on remittances- these are made by the non-residents to their own families ( and are not charities going to PM relief fund or MGNREGA).

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  • Nabeel
    Sep 28, 2013 - 1:43AM

    “He urged the United States to cease these(drone) strikes, so that we could avert further casualties and suffering”
    Moral: PML-N and PTI are on same page!
    Then why only PTI has been criticized?

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  • Majid
    Sep 28, 2013 - 2:09AM

    This is called speech! Out and loud on Kashmir, Palestine and Syria as a leading Muslim state. Muslim countries again looking forward to Pakistan to help them. Pakistan is back in business! Alhamdulillah.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 1, 2013 - 8:32AM

    NS speech was for Pakistani audience and not for the world community from the UN forum and hence has no value . Drone strike will continue till a single terrorist is breathing there . Kashmir and Palestine issue solution is also hidden in it . Try to understand………??

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