UN chief calls for ‘Positive’ settlement of Kashmir issue

United Nations, Sept 17: At a time when border issues are the most pressing issues India is facing on both its fronts, with Pakistan as well as China, the United Nations on Wednesday called for a “positive” resolution to the matter.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged India and Pakistan to move in a positive direction to resolve differences with respect to the border issue along the Line of Control.

When asked by a Pakistani reporter during a news conference what the UN chief felt about the border issues between the two countries in the Valley, Guterres subtly evaded the question and referred to his remarks from last year and said, “It is absolutely essential to move forward in a positive way according to what I expressed then and I maintain today.”

Last year when India rescinded its special constitutional status, Guterres had referred to the 1972 Simla Agreement, and said the treaty “states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is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 position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions,” he had said, expressing concerns over the alleged reports of restrictions on movement “on the Indian-side” that “could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region”.

Referring to that comment, he said on Wednesday that he “will make exactly the same statement I made in that moment last year in August”, news agency IANS reported.

The Simla Agreement

The Simla Agreement between former prime minister Indira Gandhi and then Pakistan president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stated that disputes between the two countries should be settled bilaterally and without any third party involvement.

As per Resolution 47 adopted on 21 April 1948, the Pakistani government must “secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State”.

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