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Kashmir is Pakistan`s annual itch, India knows how to deal with it: UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin

Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan`s statement that he would raise the issue of Kashmir during his address in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Syed Akbaruddin said, "We know how to deal with them. This [Kashmir] is an annual itch of Pakistan."

Updated:Friday, September 20, 2019, 23:35

Kashmir is Pakistan`s annual itch, India knows how to deal with it: UN Ambassador Syed AkbaruddinIndian envoy to the United Nations (UN) Syed Akbaruddin, characterized Pakistan`s efforts to raise the issue of Kashmir as an "annual itch" which, he said, has no resonance in the global community.

Reacting to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan`s statement that he would raise the issue of Kashmir during his address in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Syed Akbaruddin said, "We know how to deal with them. This is an annual itch of Pakistan."

"It is up to them to articulate that in any manner they want. We are confident that the global community would be responsive to collaborative efforts and not to efforts that seek to undermine cooperation among states," Syed Akbaruddin said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan would be addressing the 74th session of the UNGA on September 27. The Indian premier is one of the early speakers and the Pakistani PM is scheduled to speak two speakers after PM Modi.

Imran Khan`s address would primarily focus on Kashmir and the situation in the Valley.

India, however, will later exercise the `Right to Reply` to respond to Pakistan at the world body. India should give Pakistan a chance to redeem itself but, Syed Akbaruddin said, if Pakistan continues with its K-bogey then "India will handle it".

"A Right to Reply, by definition, will be response to what they say. Let`s give them the opportunity first... If somebody else tries to disrupt that engagement and veers off track then we know how to handle that. It is upto them. Our goal is to soar high. If others stoop low, we will handle that in a different manner. Let`s first give everybody an opportunity to redeem themselves," he said.

The UN spokesperson had on Thursday had said that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres could bring up the issue of Kashmir during discussions in the Assembly.

Reacting to this, Syed Akbaruddin said that India was not worried and the country was ready to engage with one and all to bring clarity to the issue of removal of certain provisions of Article 370 that withdrew the "special status" of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Discussions enable everybody to articulate their points of view. We welcome any discussion where our point of view needs to be articulated. That is what diplomacy is all about. We don`t need to worry too much. All engagement is part of diplomacy and we stand ready to engage with anybody," he said.

Broad-basing the conversation on India`s engagements at the UN and on the sidelines of the session, the Indian envoy reminded that this was PM Narendra Modi`s first visit to the US after his huge electoral victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

"Five years have gone since PM Modi addressed the general assembly. In those five years, India`s place in the world has dramatically changed. Today, we are a nation which is engaged globally with a vast array of countries. So, you will find us engaged in a very different manner than in the past," he said.

India will host its first India-CARICOM meeting with 14 leaders of the Carribean nations for a two-hour session. India will also hold an India-Pacific Islands meet.

"We will have India-Pacific island nations that play a very important role in our foreign policy orientation. What we are trying to do is go beyond normal bilaterals and leverage our role in the UN to engage with a vast array of countries which has never been done before," Akbaruddin said.

While PM Modi has 20 bilateral meetings and multiple plurilateral engagements, the one bilateral that everybody would be keenly watching is the Modi-Trump meet.

Akbaruddin said, "It is normal during such multilateral gatherings to leverage opportunities for meetings. So Prime Minister and President Trump are scheduled to meet in the forenoon of September 24. The outcome of that, we will share with you."

Source: India Today

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