UN chief offers to mediate between India, Pakistan to defuse Kashmir tensions
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said India and Pakistan should address differences through diplomacy and dialogue, and offered to mediate.
New York: In a bid to defuse rising tensions over Kashmir, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday offered to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan.
The UN chief's offer came after Pakistan`s ambassador met with him and urged him to personally intervene.
India has, however, cleared that it did not want to aggravate the situation.
Ban called on "both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation," a statement from his spokesman said.
The UN chief said India and Pakistan should address differences through diplomacy and dialogue, and offered to mediate.
"His good offices are available if accepted by both sides," the UN spokesman said.
Pakistan's Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi told Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday that India's claim of carrying out a surgical strike across the Line of Control was false.
India conducted surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, targeting terror launch pads across the Line of Control.
The strike came just days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Kashmir that killed 19 jawans.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the attackers would not go “unpunished” and the sacrifice of the jawans would not be in vain.
The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan.
According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.
India has, however, always maintained that UNMOGIP has ‘outlived its relevance’ and has ‘no role to play whatsoever’.
(With Agency inputs)