India-Pak set for showdown over Kashmir at UN General Assembly

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj are expected to stoutly defend their countries' positions on Kashmir. Photograph:( AFP )

Islamabad, Delhi Sep 17, 2016, 12.51 PM (IST)

India and Pakistan are gearing up for a stormy debate on Kashmir during a United Nations session on Wednesday (September 21).

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif plans to make the Kashmir issue central to his address next week at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 

The Indian delegation, headed by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, is expected to give a "befitting" reply to Pakistan's concerns.

Kashmir has been on the boil ever since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was gunned down by Indian security forces on July 8. Hizbul Mujahideen is deemed as a terrorist organisation in India.

Violent protests erupted across the India-administered Kashmir valley in the aftermath of Wani's killing. 

So far, 81 people have died during the unrest in the valley. A teenager named Momin Altaf Ganai became the latest casualty in the ongoing crisis, with Indian reports suggesting he succumbed to pellet injuries. 

On Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif vowed to "highlight" the Kashmir issue after meeting Kashmiri leaders in Muzaffarabad. 

Pakistan's Foreign Office reasserted Sharif's intent to "focus on the the continuing grave violations of human rights by Indian occupation forces" in Kashmir.

“He (PM Sharif) will call upon the international community and the United Nations to live up to their promise [about] the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the Foreign Office further said, according to Pakistani media.

The Indian side, meanwhile, expects Pakistan to make "provocative" statements at the world meet but they are confident of "effectively" countering their claims.