Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif met United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos today. PM stated that he was pleased to meet the UNSG soon after assumption of Office of the Secretary General and that “it gives me great pleasure to see you leading the premier international institution”.

PM recalled with great appreciation Mr. Guterres’ inspirational role as the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. “Your visits to Pakistan in that tenure enabled you to understand our challenges in hosting millions of refugees”, stated the PM.

PM stated that Pakistan believed that you were the ideal candidate for Secretary Generalship. It needed a leader, to take it forward in to the 21st century. The priorities you have set out, soon after assuming your office, are also encouraging. Indeed, the UN Member States need to put Peace First, stated the PM.

PM assured that Pakistan will support and cooperate to enable the Office of UN Secretary General to fulfill UN’s mandate. “We also support your call for prioritizing conflict prevention and sustainable peace”, stated the PM.

PM invited the UN SG to visit Pakistan at earliest convenience and stated that UN SG visit will showcase support and commitment to peace and progress in the region.

PM stated that “My Government’s foremost priority is to build a peaceful neighborhood and We are committed to lasting peace and security in our region and an environment conducive to economic cooperation; which is in the interest of all the people of South Asia”.

“We are convinced that the welfare of the people of our region lies in economic progress and prosperity. This cannot be achieved if we are not able to resolve our problems and cooperate with each other”, reiterated the PM.

While highlighting the issue of Kashmir, the Prime Minister stated that “Kashmir is an international dispute, which remains on the Agenda of the Security Council. A sustained dialogue process on all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir is essential to make progress. It was in this spirit that we invited India for discussions on the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. India did not respond positively. By adopting a no-talks posture, vitiating the atmosphere through incendiary statements, and trying to muzzle the voice for the legitimate right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, New Delhi is fueling instability in an already tense region”.

PM reiterated that the people of Kashmir were guaranteed a free, transparent and impartial plebiscite by the resolutions of the UN Security Council but this promise has yet to materialize.

Prime Minister also raised the issue of Indus Water Treaty with the United Nations Secretary General.

“We look forward to your leadership and good offices and the United Nations has longstanding responsibility to play a role in the resolution of these issues”, stated the Prime Minister.

The Secretary General of the United Nations assured the Prime Minister that he is fully cognizant of the sensitivity of the issues between India and Pakistan which has security consequences for the region. UN-SG praised Pakistan’s contribution for the United Nations and Peace-keeping operations as well as hosting millions of Afghan refugees. He said that he will play a very constructive and positive role for the countries in the region including Pakistan.