India rejects UN chief’s mediation offer on Kashmir
New Delhi: India on Sunday rejected any scope for third party mediation to resolve the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
In a statement, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said:”Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will continue to be an integral part of India. The issue that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan. Further issues, if any, would be discussed bilaterally. There is no role or scope for third party mediation.”
The comments come against the backdrop of some remarks made by the UN Secretary General António Guterres who is on a visit to Pakistan.
In his remarks, Guterres had expressed concern over increasing tensions between India and Pakistan as well as over alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, news reports said.
“We hope the UN Secretary General would emphasise on the imperative for Pakistan to take credible, sustained and irreversible action to put an end to cross-border terrorism against India, which threatens the most fundamental human right – the right to life, of the people of India, including in Jammu and Kashmir,” Kumar said.
Guterres who arrived in Islamabad on Sunday, met Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The UN chief is on a four-day visit to Pakistan during which he will attend an international conference on Afghan refugees and visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
In remarks to the press, Guterres is reported to have said that it was important for India and Pakistan to de-escalate “militarily and verbally” and exercise “maximum restraint.”
Addressing a press conference after his meeting with Qureshi, the UN Secretary-General said he was “deeply concerned” over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and tensions along the Line of Control, news reports from Pakistan said.
He said he was ready to help if both countries agreed for mediation.
“Diplomacy and dialogue remain the only tools that guarantee peace and stability with solutions in accordance with the Charter of United Nations and resolutions of the Security Council,” Guterres said.
The UN chief said he had “repeatedly stressed on the importance of exercising maximum restraint”.
“I offered my good offices from the beginning. I am ready to help if both countries agree for mediation,” he said.
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