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Pakistan Must Show ‘Seriousness,’ Says Modi

by AFP
Don Emmert—AFP

Don Emmert—AFP

Indian prime minister uses U.N. General Assembly speech to claim flood victims in Kashmir more important than plebiscite issue.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that Pakistan needed to show more “seriousness” to resume dialogue between the historic adversaries.

“I do want to hold bilateral talks with them, but it is Pakistan’s duty to come forward with all seriousness and create an atmosphere,” Modi said in his first speech before the U.N. General Assembly.

Speaking in Hindi, unlike most global leaders, Modi questioned Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for highlighting the longstanding Kashmir dispute in his own U.N. speech a day earlier. “By raising this, I don’t know how serious our effort will be, and some people are doubtful,” Modi said.

“Instead, today we should be thinking about the victims of floods on Jammu and Kashmir,” the prime minister added, using the full name of the Indian-administered state.

Modi reiterated his offer to assist flood victims on the Pakistani side of the divided Himalayan territory—an offer unlikely to be accepted by Islamabad amid criticism by some Kashmiris over the pace of the Indian response.

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