SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) – UNITED NATIONS: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday expressed his country’s willingness to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan, but “without a shadow of terrorism.”
He said that Pakistan must show more ‘seriousness’ and must create an “appropriate environment” for holding peace dialogue with their South Asian neighbours.
Modi was making his first speech to the UN General Assembly since taking power in May.
Modi invited his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration but India in August withdrew from planned talks between their foreign secretaries as Pakistan wanted to consult first with separatists in the disputed region of Kashmir.
In his UN address Friday, Nawaz criticised India’s withdrawal from the talks as a “missed opportunity.”
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir since independence in 1947.
“I do want to hold bilateral talks with them but it is also the duty of Pakistan to come forward and create an appropriate atmosphere,” Modi said, according to a translation of his comments made in the Hindi language.
He objected to Pakistan raising the dispute over the talks at the UN, saying it raised questions about their seriousness. Modi said the priority now should be cooperation to aid victims of flooding in Kashmir that has killed hundreds on both sides.