New York, Sept 28 IBNS | 2 years ago

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday addressed the United Nations General Assembly where he hit out at Pakistan and said the 'epicentre' of terrorism in 'our region' is located in the South-Asian nation.

"Terrorism remains a grave threat to security and stability everywhere and extracts a heavy toll of innocent lives around the world. From Africa to Asia, we have seen several manifestations of this menace in the last few days alone. State-sponsored cross-border terrorism is of particular concern to India, also on account of the fact that the epicentre of terrorism in our region is located in our neighbourhood in Pakistan," Singh said.

He said Pakistan should shut down all 'terrorist machinery' on its soil.

Singh said Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and there could not be any compromise with the unity and territorial integrity of India.

"Speaking from this podium yesterday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan spoke of making a new beginning. I reciprocate his sentiments and am looking forward to meeting him tomorrow. India is committed sincerely to resolving all issues with Pakistan, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through bilateral dialogue on the basis of the Simla Agreement. However, for progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilized for aiding and abetting terrorism directed against India," the PM said

"It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down. There must be a clear understanding of the fact Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that there can never, ever, be a compromise with the unity and territorial integrity of India," Singh said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday addressed the United Nations General Assembly saying he hoped to "make a new beginning" in his country's ties with India.

Sharif said he looked forward to meeting Singh on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN and a exchange between the two is expected on Sunday.

Singh said the UN Security Council should be reformed and restructured.

"The UN Security Council must be reformed and restructured to reflect current political realities. More developing countries should be included as both permanent and non-permanent members," he said.

"Multilateral Financial Institutions should also enable an enhanced voice for developing countries in their decision making structures," the PM said.

Speaking on the situation in Syria, Singh said: "The increasingly lethal conflict in Syria is not only a tragedy for the people of Syria, but also threatens the region and beyond. It has been made worse by the use of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons, whosoever may have deployed them, must be condemned in the strongest terms."

"There is no military solution to this conflict. We must intensify efforts to end the conflict and seek a political settlement," he said.

(Posted on 28-09-2013)