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Refrain from taking steps that could affect status of J and K: UN SG

MANHATTAN: Secretary General UN Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan here today to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. 

According to Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary General,  Antonio Guterres has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint. Secretary General is also concerned over reports of restrictions in India-occupied Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.

United Nations’ position on this region is governed by the Charter of the world body and applicable Security Council resolutions. Antonio Guterres also recalled the 1972 Simla Agreement on Indo-Pak bilateral relations  which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the UN Charter.

Relevant Piece: Reiterating his concern over the grave situation following India’s annexation of  disputed Kashmir, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the United Nations position on the settlement of decades-old dispute was governed by UN Charter and “applicable Security Council resolutions.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement he read out at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.
Today’s statement of the secretary-general, who is away from New York, went beyond his earlier calls for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint as the situation in the disputed Kashmir region deteriorated.
On Wednesday, Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi met with the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet Maria Louisa Ribeiro Viotti, and asked for the UN chief to demand that India comply with UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir that call for a UN-supervised plebiscite to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people and also prohibit any alteration in the status of the disputed state until its final settlement.
In his statement, the UN chief also recalled the 1972 Simla Agreement which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, “in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”
“The Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region,” the statement said, obviously referring to the India’s complete lockdown of Kashmir with communications cut and schools closed.
Spokesman Dujarric faced a series of questions on the issue, but he generally stuck to the wording of the statement. “The Secretary General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint,” he told reporters.
Asked with whom the UN was contact about the situation in Kashmir following India’s action, he said the Secretariat was engaging with permanent missions of India and Pakistan in New York.
He said that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s letter has been received and circulated as a UNSC documents, and was requested.
Specifically asked about his proposal to appoint a Special Representative on Kashmir, the spokesman said the letter was being studied and he had no announcement to make at this stage.

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Sania Jamali

Sania Jamali, who studied Media in UAE, is associated with Newspakistan.tv since its inception (2015) mostly reporting International Politics.