Zee Media Bureau
United Nations: Hitting hard and without taking any soft approach, Manmohan Singh on Saturday, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly, asked Pakistan to shutdown `terrorist machinery` on its soil while making it clear that there can `never, ever` be a compromise on the territorial integrity of India of which Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part.
In the backdrop of the recent terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, Manmohan Singh said, "State-sponsored cross-border terrorism is of particular concern to India on account of the fact that the epicentre of terrorism in our region is located in our neighbourhood in Pakistan."
Noting that his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif speaking at the same forum had called for `making a new beginning`, Manmohan Singh said he reciprocated the Pakistani leader`s sentiments, and looked forward to meeting him Sunday.
"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," he said.
"However, for progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilised for aiding and abetting terrorism directed against India," Manmohan Singh said.
"It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down," said the prime minister a day after voicing concerns about terrorism emanating from Pakistan at his summit with President Barack Obama Friday.
After meeting with US President Barack Obama at the Oval Office yesterday — in what was their first bilateral summit meeting after nearly three years — PM had left for New York to attend the UN General Assembly session.
Delhi has also urged Pakistan to punish the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks in 2008, which are believed to carried out by Pakistan-based.
`J&K an integral part of India`
On Kashmir issue Singh asked Sharif to have 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".
Calling upon the world community "to renew our commitment, especially here at the UN, for concerted, cohesive and continuing global action against terrorism", he said: "There can be no tolerance for states sheltering, arming, training or financing terrorists."
"Nor can they absolve themselves of the responsibility to prevent their territories from being used to launch acts of terrorism," Manmohan Singh said in another stern warning to Pakistan.
"The increasingly complex challenges to international peace and security require a new international consensus to be built, whether it is in cyber security, non-proliferation or terrorism," he said.
`UN must be reformed to reflect political realities`
Making a strong case for the reform of the UN Security Council to reflect current political realities, PM said global peace and security issues must be handled through multilateral efforts.
The UN`s role in advancing peace and security is the focus of renewed attention at a time when the world is facing multiple challenges, Singh said in his address at the world body`s General Assembly.
"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.
`Poverty alleviation needs to be top priority`
With over a billion people living in abject poverty globally, Manmohan Singh emphasised the need for "inclusive growth" and said poverty alleviation should be a top priority for the international community.
"The problems of over a billion people living in abject poverty around the world need to be attacked more directly," Singh said in his address to the UN General Assembly.
Poverty remains a major political and economic challenge and its eradication requires special attention and a new thrust, he said.
"This priority should anchor the post-2015 Development Agenda, which should be shaped by the member states so that it enjoys the broadest possible support and acceptance," Singh told the international leaders at the UN headquarters in New York.
He said the issues of peace, security, human rights and governance are important and need to be addressed.
`India calls for non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament`
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also called for building international consensus on key issues like cyber security, non-proliferation and terrorism.
"This year, 25 years after Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi put forward a comprehensive Action Plan for a Nuclear Weapon-free and Non-violent World Order, we must strengthen efforts against nuclear proliferation and pursue time-bound, universal, non-discriminatory, phased and verifiable nuclear disarmament," Singh said in his address.
Singh also called for guarding against terrorists and non-state actors gaining access to sensitive materials and technologies including those used in nuclear weapons.
The Prime Minister`s remarks on nuclear disarmament come 25 years after then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave his historic speech at the United Nations wherein he proposed a nuclear-free world and termed nuclear deterrence to be the "ultimate expression of the philosophy of terrorism, holding humanity hostage to the presumed security needs of a few."
Gandhi had proposed a three-stage process of total disarmament with the accent on a regime that was global, universal and non-discriminatory.
Stage set for Indo-Pak talks
Manmohan Singh, who arrived here last night from Washington, will hold his first one-on-one meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif since the latter assumed office in June 2013, after being anointed as Pak PM.
The India-Pakistan dialogue process was put on hold after an Indian soldier was beheaded on the Line of Control (LoC) in January. Ties hit a new low when five more soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC last month.
The terror attacks near Jammu virtually threatened to derail the New York meeting, with main opposition BJP demanding that Singh call off his meeting with Sharif.
But Singh decided to go ahead with the meeting, saying such attacks will not succeed in derailing the dialogue process.
Expectations from the high-profile meeting will be toned down, as the Prime Minister himself put it in the media briefing after his talks with President Barack Obama, "given the terror arm which is still active in our subcontinent"
With agency input