UNITED NATIONS: In remarks that are bound to create ripples in India, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced regret on Friday that the UN military observer in Pakistan and India had not been allowed to fully function in Occupied Kashmir due to India’s non-cooperation.
While Islamabad has been seeking a more active role for the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), New Delhi sees it as a ploy by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir issue and has been arguing that UNMOGIP’s role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement of 1972.
UN chief condemns Indian Kashmir killings, calls for dialogue
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Dr Maleeha Lodhi, in a meeting with the top diplomat, asked the UN secretary-general to ensure that UNMOGIP is able to report facts independently regarding the situation in held Kashmir to the UN Security Council.
Ban also called for urgent de-escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India and an end to violence in the region in the wake of escalation of tensions along the Line of Control.
Briefing the UN chief about the escalating situation, Lodhi said: “India has, by its declarations and actions, created conditions that pose an imminent threat to regional and International peace and security.”
She also told the secretary-general that while India’s claim of carrying out a surgical strike across the Line of Control was false, India had by its own admission, committed “aggression” against Pakistan.
The ambassador said India has provoked this crisis to divert international attention away from the indigenous Kashmiri uprising against Indian occupation.
“It was, therefore essential to address the root cause of this crisis which is India’s continuing denial of the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.”
UN offers to send fact-finding mission to Kashmir
The secretary-general repeated his offer of extending his “good offices” to both countries, which Pakistan has always welcomed but India has consistently declined.
Maleeha told the secretary-general that “Pakistan had exercised maximum restraint, but would respond forcefully to any acts of aggression and provocation”.
“Responsibility for the escalating crisis rested entirely on India,” she added.
The secretary-general also conveyed his dismay at the cancellation of the Saarc summit, saying this could prove a good opportunity for dialogue.
She urged Ban to intervene “boldly and unequivocally” by calling on India to halt its aggressive actions and provocations, lest these lead to an even more dangerous situation.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Friday formally announced postponing the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), scheduled to take place on November 9 and 10 in Islamabad, after five out of eight members pulled out of the meeting.
Friday’s announcement was more or less a formality after India joined by Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and now Sri Lanka, expressing their inability to attend the regional conference in Islamabad.
Courtesy : Express Tribune