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Volkan links resolution of Jammu & Kashmir dispute with SA peace

ISLAMABAD (APP): President-elect of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Volkan Bozkir on Monday expressed his strong support for the longstanding dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, linking it with peace and stability of the South Asian region.

“The Jammu and Kashmir dispute needs to be settled through peaceful means,” the visiting UNGA dignitary said at a joint press stakeout with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The UNGA president-elect, who arrived in Islamabad on a two-day visit earlier in the day, said, the “meaningful engagement of political and diplomatic channels” was significant to resolve the issue in accordance with the resolutions of UN Security Council.

Bozkir, the first Turkish national to hold this position for 75th UNGA session, said Turkey’s position on Jammu and Kashmir was well-known and its foreign ministry had issued a strong statement over India’s action of August 5.

FM Qureshi mentioned that during his meeting with the UNGA president-elect, he briefed him about the evolving situation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) facing military siege for last one year, human rights violations, and illegal search and cordon operations.

UNGA president-elect Bozkir termed Pakistan a key UN member state for its continued support of the UN Charter, besides extending immense contributions at multiple levels, including peacekeeping troops. He mentioned that the upcoming 75th UNGA session in September would be of great importance owing to global challenges of coronavirus pandemic with its social and economic repercussions on countries.

He praised Pakistan for effectively tackling the pandemic, saying,”Pakistan was a good example for the world for handling the pandemic-related policies very well.” “Pakistan has done better than many other countries,” he said.

Of his today’s meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bozkir said he was impressed by his vision for the region with focus on peace and security and other global issues such as climate change and reaching out to the under-developed countries.

Asked about the impartiality of the UN as several countries continue to face severe mutual conflicts, Bozkar said since he would be taking oath of his office on September 15, it was not appropriate to comment about it. To a question about Pakistan’s priorities at the 75th UNGA session in New York, Foreign Minister Qureshi said “Jammu and Kashmir would be the top priority. Jammu and Kashmir cannot be overlooked and the issue will keep simmering until addressed.”

He called upon the UN to play its role to avoid any trigger between the two nuclear-armed countries – Pakistan and India.

“Kashmir can become a flashpoint if left unresolved. The world must act now,” he stressed.

The minister said other key areas to be highlighted at UNGA session included debt relief for the developing countries, climate change, illicit financial flow and Islamophobia.

Qureshi called upon the members of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to “join hands and speak up for the Muslims being targeted with fascist ideologies”.

Asked if he would attend the upcoming UNGA session, he said he had proposed the prime minister for physical participation rather than video-link in view of the importance of the agenda about global health and economic challenges in the wake of pandemic.

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