UN chief calls for India-Pak dialogue

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

U.N.-NEW YORK-CLIMATE CHANGE-PRESS CONFERENCE UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the escalation of violence along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and called for “dialogue” between India and Pakistan to resolve their differences.

The statement by Ban stressed the bilateral aspect in asking New Delhi and Islamabad “to resolve all differences through dialogue”.

Ban’s associate spokesperson Vannina Maestracci told reporters: “In a statement, the secretary-general said that he is concerned about the recent escalation of violence along the LoC between India and Pakistan. He deplores the loss of lives and the displacement of civilians on both sides.”

She said: “The secretary-general encourages the governments of India and Pakistan to resolve all differences through dialogue and to engage constructively to find a long-term solution for peace and stability in Kashmir.”

Pakistan has renewed its attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue. Last month, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) about its resolutions on Kashmir and “fulfilment of that promise”.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan brought it up again, saying, Sharif “reminded the United Nations of its own responsibility”. Khan also said the UN Military Observer Group “must be enabled to play its role in monitoring the ceasefire”.

India has rejected any role for the UN or other third parties in dealing with the Kashmir dispute.

Responding to Khan at the UNGA Tuesday, Devesh Uttam, first secretary at the Indian Mission to the UN, said: “The onus of creating a positive environment is on Pakistan which is utterly failing to do so.”

He said: “It is a matter of deep regret that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire.”

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