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Burhan Wani A Symbol Of The Kashmiri Intifada, Says Nawaz Sharif

"A new generation of Kashmiris has risen."

22/09/2016 8:44 AM IST | Updated 22/09/2016 9:27 AM IST
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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addresses the General Assembly at the United Nations on September 21, 2016 in New York City. Presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and ministers are gathering this week for the United Nation's General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In a speech that dwelled in most parts on the contentious Kashmir dispute, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday night at the General Debate of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly accused India of brutally repressing an "indigenous uprising of the Kashmiris".

He also hailed slain militant commander Burhan Wani a "young leader murdered by Indian forces".

Wani, he said, has emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, "a popular and peaceful freedom movement, led by Kashmiris, young and old, men and women, armed only with an undying faith in the legitimacy of their cause, and a hunger for freedom in their hearts."

ALSO READ: Full Text Of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Speech At The UN General Assembly

"Our predictions have now been confirmed by events. A new generation of Kashmiris has risen spontaneously against India's illegal occupation...," Sharif said.

"This indigenous uprising of the Kashmiris has been met, as usual, with brutal repression by India's occupation force of over half a million soldiers. Over a hundred Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds, including children and infants, blinded by shotgun pellets and over six thousand unarmed civilians injured over the past two months," he said.

He called on the UN to "de-militarize" Jammu and Kashmir. "Pakistan fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination, as promised to them by several Security Council resolutions. Their struggle is a legitimate one for liberation from alien occupation," Sharif said.

An understandably upset India criticized Sharif for hailing Wani as a martyr.

"Pak PM Sharif at #UNGA glorifies Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in UN's highest forum. Shows continued Pak attachment to terrorism," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

India also summoned the Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit on Wednesday to appraise him of the findings on the terrorists who are thought to have crossed over from Pakistan. The attack on the army installation in Uri left 18 soldiers dead.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar told Pakistan High Commissione Basit that the items recovered from the terrorists -- communication and navigation equipment, food, medicines and clothes -- all bore markings that they were made in Pakistan.

Swarup said Jaishankar reminded Basit of Pakistan's commitment in January 2004 to not allow its soil or territory held by it to be used for terrorism against India.

A senior military official told Pakistani newspaper Dawn that "extreme vigilance was being exercised in view of the current threats from India".

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