Outgoing UN chief Ban Ki-moon has asked India and Pakistan to resolve their differences through dialogue and exercise restraint as he maintained his concern over the increase in tensions between the two neighbours along the Line of Control in recent months.
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The Secretary-General, whose 10-year tenure at the world organisation’s helm will end this month, has had a “very consistent position” on the situation in Kashmir, his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters here on Wednesday in response to a question on tensions between India and Pakistan.
“All I can say is the Secretary-General has had a very consistent position. One fact we expressed even just last month, which is to say that he is following with concern the increase in tensions along the Line of Control and that he urges the Governments of India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and encourages them to continue their efforts to resolve their differences peacefully and through dialogue,” Haq said.
When asked by a Pakistani reporter that the Secretary-General has been “very reluctant” throughout his term to talk about the Indian-Pakistan conflict, Haq said he disagrees with such assessment.
“I would disagree with you on that. We’ve had statements, including on the situations between India and Pakistan and on specifically on Kashmir. There have been statements and notes to correspondents. The last one was just a few weeks back, so I would just refer you back to those,” Haq said.
In a statement issued last month, Ban had expressed deep concern about the “deterioration” of the situation along the Line of Control in Kashmir and called on all involved to prioritize the restoration of calm and stability in order to prevent any further escalation and loss of life.
Ban has said that his good offices are available to India and Pakistan if “accepted by both sides”.
Throughout the year, Pakistan brought up the Kashmir issue at various UN fora but its attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue did not find resonance among the rest of the 191 member states of the UN.