Islamabad - Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has termed the recent statement of Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, where he asked Pakistan to stop talking to the Kashmiri leadership or else India will not resume dialogue, an expression of “hawkish, irresponsible and arrogant mindset of the new Indian leadership”. 

He made these remarks as a keynote speaker in a seminar on “Journey to Peace and Co-Prosperity: The United Nations, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea,” here at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI), with the collaboration of the Embassy of Republic of Korea.

He said that Pakistan’s position on Kashmir was grounded in the legitimacy of the role of the United Nations and its resolutions on that issue. Senator Mushahid Hussain said that as recent as June 6, 1998, there was a unanimous resolution of the UN Security Council which refers to the Kashmir question.

He said that this resolution No 1172 of June 6, 1998 urged both Pakistan and India to find out “mutually acceptable solutions that address the root cause of the tensions, including Kashmir and this resolution urges the “UN Secretary General to report to the UN Security Council on steps taken to implement in this regard.”

Senator Mushahid also supported the notion of a nuclear-free zone in Korea and said that a global nuclear policy should be based on universal principles of non proliferation and be applicable for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East as well.  

He said that Pakistan and Korea were partners for progress and peace in the 21st century, which he said is the ‘Asian Century’ and they had a lot of similarities because the oldest ceasefire was in Kashmir, while the second oldest ceasefire was in Korea. He said that peace in both these regions was linked in upholding the UN charter and implementing the UN resolutions.

Senator Mushahid Hussain also welcomed the new head of the UNMOGIP, Major General Delali Sayi from Ghana as well as the UN Representative in Pakistan, Timo Pakala and said that the UN had a legal and moral and political responsibility to preserve and promote peace and in this regard the UN peacekeepers should take notice of India’s repeated violations of the ceasefire on the LOC. 

He also said that Pakistan and Korea had similar positions on the expansion of the UN Security Council and such expansion should be based on principles of equity, justice and fair representation and not result in creation of new power blocs of monopoly based on size and strength.

Senator Mushahid said that Pakistan was the biggest contributor to the UN peacekeeping as it has 8,250 troops under the UN command.

Earlier, Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Song Jong-hwan, in his address, said that the purpose to organise the seminar was to highlight Korean efforts at the bilateral and multilateral level with a focus on the UN Charter to maintain international peace and security. On the occasion, a special message from UN Secretary General Ban-ki-moon, a Korean national, was also conveyed to the participants, congratulating the organisers for highlighting the contributions of Pakistan and Korea for the improvement of bilateral relations, and for supporting the global mission of the United Nations.

UN Representative in Pakistan Timo Pakala also acknowledged that Pakistan has played a key role in the UN peacekeeping programme globally, most prominently in Somalia, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Congo and Liberia; adding that Pakistan stood as the largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping missions in the world.

At the end of the seminar, Senator Mushahid Hussain presented reports of the Senate Defence Committee to Maj. Gen Delali, Head of the UNMOGIP as well as the UN Representative in Pakistan.

Ambassador (Retd) Shamshad Ahmad Khan, Ambassador (Retd) Khalid Mahmood along with other diplomats and scholars also addressed the seminar.