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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday (Sept. 26) raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly here and blamed India for "another missed opportunity" to address outstanding issues by cancelling the Foreign Secretary-level talks. Asserting that a "veil" cannot be drawn over the "core" issue of Kashmir, he said Pakistan is ready to work for resolution of this problem through negotiations. Needling India, Sharif said that more than six decades ago, the UN had passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. India had called off the Foreign Secretary-level talks in August after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit met Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi, ignoring India's warning not to meet the separatist leaders. Both India and Pakistan have separately stated that there was no planned meeting of Sharif and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the margins of the UN session. Sharif, however, gave enough indications that Pakistan was not averse to resumption of the dialogue process with India. Sharif said that it is his government's "aspiration and effort" to build a peaceful neighborhood by pursuing a policy of constructive engagement. Sharif said that as a "responsible" nuclear weapon state, Pakistan will continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; and pursue a policy of nuclear restraint and credible minimum deterrence. Condemning terrorism, Sharif told the UN General Assembly that his country is fighting terrorism "planted" on its soil and has resolved to fight the "scourge" to the finish. He said that in the past 13 years, Pakistan "as a frontline state" has sacrificed tremendously due to terrorism. Stating that Pakistan remains committed to forging a deeper bilateral relationship with Afghanistan on the basis of equal security and shared prosperity, Sharif said, "Our two nations confront common challenges, which call for greater cooperation and understanding between our two nations."
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Maroof Raza, Strategic Affairs Analyst; Husain Haqqani, Former Ambassador of Pakistan to the USA & Director, South & Central Asia Hudson Institute; Kanwal Sibal, Former Diplomat; K C Singh, Former Secretary, MEA; Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Abid Rao, Defence Analyst; Reham Khan, Senior Journalist; Tariq Pirzada, Strategic Affairs Analyst -- discuss whether Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's speech in the United Nations General Assembly is a self-goal for Pakistan.