UN chief calls for ‘moving forward’ to resolve Kashmir dispute through talks

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 16 (APP):United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has underscored the need for moving forward in a “positive way” to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue, saying he stood by his last year’s statement in which said that the world body’s position on the dispute was governed by the UN Charter and the applicable Security Council resolutions.

“I will make exactly the same statement I made in that moment,” he said in reply to a question from APP correspondent at his press conference on Wednesday, ahead of next week’s General Debate in which world leaders will address the 75th session of the UN General Assembly through video-link, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In his August 8, 2019, statement, the secretary-general also called for a dialogue between India and Pakistan and the need for avoiding steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.

At his press conference on Wednesday, the UN chief was reminded of his last year’s statement in which he voiced his concern over the developments in Jammu and Kashmir, and asked for his comments about the sharp deterioration more than a year later of the human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) where India had begun to implement its plans to change the demography of the region.

“It is absolutely essential to move forward in a positive way according to what I expressed then and I maintain today,” Guterres added.

Last month, the UN Security Council met for the third time in a year and its members expressed deep concern over the current situation in the IIOJK.

The meeting, which was requested by Pakistan with the support of China, discussed the situation in Kashmir, and listened to the briefings from the United Nations Secretariat on the current situation and the work of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.

The closed-door meeting was presided over by Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani of Indonesia, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month of August.