UN chief voices concern over security situation in Kashmir



United Nations: In a departure from diplomatic norms, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued a statement voicing concern over the security situation in Kashmir over the past one month.

"In relation to recent developments in Kashmir, the Secretary General is concerned over the prevailing security situation there over the past month," Farhan Haq, Ban's Pakistani-origin spokesperson, said in the statement.

"He (the UN chief) calls on all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and address problems peacefully," Haq added.

The Secretary General's unprecedented statement comes in the backdrop of violence in the Kashmir Valley which has led to the death of 17 people and repeated shutdown at the behest of separatists.

Ban went further and called for "rekindling the spirit of the composite dialogue" between India and Pakistan, which India disfavours till Pakistan addresses the terrorism issue.

"He (Ban) encourages both sides to rekindle the spirit of the composite dialogue, which was initiated in 2004 and had made encouraging progress on some important confidence building measures, and to make renewed efforts to address outstanding issues, including on Jammu and Kashmir," the statement said.

"He underlines the need for patience, perseverance and compromise on all sides," it added.

-PTI