UN Chief ‘Concerned’ About Kashmir Situation

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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations has concerns about the situation in Kashmir and continues to monitor the situation, a spokesperson for the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said on Friday.

“The basic point is we have concerns about the situation in Kashmir. We do monitor the situation, we have different levels of contacts with the governments of India and Pakistan”, Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said at a press briefing.

He also has denied that the Indian government was preventing the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan from making reports.

Asked by a reporter if the UNMOGIP was not making periodic reports “because the Indian government does not allow them to”, Haq denied that there were any constraints imposed by India.

He said that the mission had different mandates and was not required to file reports like some of the other missions.

“Different peace-keeping missions have different mandates, and including different reporting mandates,” Haq said.

“The earliest peacekeeping missions that include UN Monitoring Group India Pakistan (UNMOGIP) and the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), come from a different era where they have completely different reporting requirements.”

Some of the recent UN operations submit periodic reports at three to six month intervals, in addition to others dealing with specific developments.

UNMOGIP, originally set up in 1948 as the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), is tasked by the Security Council with monitoring the Line of Control.

While allowing the UNMOGIP to function, India has maintained that it no longer has any relevance because under the 1972 Shimla Agreement New Delhi and Islamabad agreed to deal with their differences bilaterally.

UNMOGIP is headed by Swedish Major General Per Gustaf Lodin and has only 38 military personnel.

When Haq said that UN chief was monitoring the situation in Kashmir and “is concerned about the developments there, but has no plans for a visit”, a reporter asked in the context of the current visit by Guterres to Iraq to assess the situation there if he was concerned about the Kashmir situation, Haq said: “He can pay attention without necessarily visiting.”

“Even when he does not visit countries, though, he is aware of the problems there and we have, as you know, many levels of officials, including country level officials who are there to deal with the various problems that arise.”

“The basic point is we have concerns about the situation in Kashmir,” Haq added.

“We do monitor the situation and we have different levels of contacts with governments of India and of Pakistan.”

 

Iran Offers Mediation

 

 Iran is ready to use its special influence and relations with Pakistan and India to mediate between the conflicting parties on Kashmir issue and help bring sustainable peace in the region.

 

In an exclusive interview with APP, the Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said, “Iranian government has announced its readiness for any support, for any hope of peace and tranquility in the region.”

 

He said “We have not yet received any official request from both sides for Iran as a large country in the region to come and try to solve the matter.”

 

He said any conflict, or tension between the two countries would hinder the way of progress and development of both countries but would also impact upon the economies of the other countries in the region.

 

It is important to remove such tensions to ensure sustainable and durable peace in the region, he added.

 

He said it may be true that some forces wanted such tensions to find excuses for its engagements in our region, he said.

 

“We hope that the wise leaders of the conflicting countries pay attention to this issue that a lot of problems that we face in this region have exogenous sources”.

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