Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said his statements on the Kashmir issue was based on historic facts and stressed that the United Nations should honour its own resolution.
The Pakistani prime minister was referring to his statement given during his address to the UN General Assembly session on Friday.
“What I have said is factual truth. I have tried to remind the United Nations that it should implement the resolution passed by its Security Council,” Sharif said in an interview with a private channel in New York.
The prime minister in his address on Friday had stressed that the UN must continue to remain attentive to the issue of disputed Jammu and Kashmir, and realise the right of its people to self-determination. He had also pointed that the sufferings of the Kashmiri people cannot be brushed under the carpet because of power politics.
To a question, Sharif said he would try to bridge the distance with India during his upcoming meeting with his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UNGA. He stressed that the money spent on buying weapons for war should instead be used for the welfare of the people of Pakistan and India.
He said that, owing to the arms race, the present situation in Pakistan, India and the entire region was not satisfactory. “Had we spent this money on social sector particularly education and health, it would have immensely benefitted the nation and the country.”
The prime minister said the government was committed to eradicate terrorism from the country and warned that force could be used in this regard if necessary.
About his meeting with the US President Barack Obama in October at the White House, he said efforts would be made to remove misunderstandings between the two countries.
Speaking to a large gathering of Pakistani-Americans at a reception hosted by the Consulate General of Pakistan also on Saturday, Sharif said his government was determined to lift the country out of the economic quagmire it finds itself in after years of neglect and mismanagement.
He said his party had weathered some very difficult times but had now returned to power through the ballot. “Every Pakistani should be proud of the unprecedented transfer of democratic power that has recently taken place in Pakistan,” he said, vowing to undo the wrongs done to the country under dictatorial rule.
He said his government had drawn an elaborate plan to step up economic development through a series of projects in infrastructure, energy, educational fields, and intra-regional economic corridor, he added.
“We are determined to face off the challenges, which are big and difficult, as they have accumulated over the years…we have to improve law and order, we have to curb terrorism…for which we will hold dialogue as the priority way, improved security environment will help bring investment in to the country and bolster growth.”
The prime minister said the motorway project would be completed right up to Karachi, and dams would be built to overcome nagging blackouts and to provide smooth supply of power to the industries that would open up jobs.
He cited his interaction with the Chinese and Turkish leaders and said economic corridor from Khunjrab to Gwadar and then establishment of road linkage between Pakistan, Kabul and Central Asian countries onward would also help spur trade and economic activity in the country. The government also intends to connect Abbottabad and Islamabad with a tunnel, he added.
“I know we will have to arrange finances for these projects but we will be steadfast in pursuit of our development plans,” he said.
In the regional context, he expressed his desire for regional peace, including with neighbouring countries Afghanistan and India.
He said he raised the issue of US drone strikes in his UN address as well as in a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry as such operations on Pakistani soil were not only in violation of the country’s sovereignty but they were also counterproductive.