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Pakistan’s Sharif urges formalized Kashmir truce with India

Pakistani Prime Minister called for cooperation with India and said the two nuclear-armed countries should formalize a cease-fire in disputed Kashmir

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Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on Wednesday for cooperation, not confrontation, with on-and-off foe India and said the two nuclear-armed countries should formalize a cease-fire in disputed Kashmir.

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly, Sharif said cease-fire violations in Kashmir were intensifying, causing civilian deaths, including of women and children.

“Wisdom dictates that our immediate neighbor refrains from fomenting instability in Pakistan,” he told the 193-nation assembly. “The two countries should address and resolve the causes of tension and take all possible measures to avert further escalation.”

India issued a swift rebuttal, accusing Pakistan of claiming to be the primary "victim of terrorism while in truth, it is actually a victim of its own policy of breeding and sponsoring terrorists”.

Sharif said he was proposing a new four-point peace initiative with India, starting with measures that are the simplest to implement.

“One, we propose that Pakistan and India formalize and respect the 2003 understanding for a complete cease-fire on the Line of Control in Kashmir,” Sharif said, referring to the cease-fire line between India and Pakistan. He called for an expansion of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to monitor the cease-fire.

The Pakistani president proposed that his country and India reaffirm that they will not resort to force under any circumstances and that steps be taken to demilitarize Kashmir.

He also called for an agreement on an unconditional mutual withdrawal of forces from Kashmir’s Siachen Glacier region, the world’s highest battleground, where 10,000 to 20,000 Indian and Pakistani troops have faced off against each other since 1984.

“An easing of threat perceptions through such peace efforts will make it possible for Pakistan and India to agree on a broad range of measures to address the peril posed by offensive and advanced weapons systems,” Sharif said.