Pak PM consults army chief ahead of UNGA address

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has held a telephonic conversation with Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif ahead of his speech at the UN in which he is expected to raise the Kashmir issue, amid signs he may tone down his rhetoric to reduce tensions with India.

An official from the Prime Minister’s Office said the two last night discussed the situation in Kashmir and tense relations with India after the terrorist attack on an Indian army camp in Uri on Sunday in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Sharif had a plan to forcefully highlight the Kashmir violence, but the scenario changed after Uri terrorist attack which spotlighted the issue of cross-border militancy.

“The prime minister might strike a balance in his speech. He would talks about the Indian atrocities in Kashmir but also would be conciliatory to end tension,” said the official.

 Sharif may also offer proposals to address the Kashmir issue, including emphasis on implementing UN resolutions and the mediatory role of the international community.

No statement was issued after the talks between the two Sharifs, which was their first contact since the Uri attack. Geo TV reported that the conversation between the two leaders shows that the situation after Uri attack was serious.

The Uri incident was one of the deadliest attacks on Indian Army in recent years, as heavily-armed terrorists stormed a battalion headquarters of the force.

Four militants involved in the terror strike were killed. India’s DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has said the four killed were foreign terrorists and had carried with them items which had Pakistani markings and that initial reports indicated that they belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-E-Mohammed group. Sharif is poised to address the 71st UNGA session in New York later today. PTI

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