Addressing a press conference in Pakistan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday it was important for India and Pakistan to de-escalate “militarily and verbally” and exercise “maximum restraint”. He voiced his concern regarding Kashmir and offered mediation. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) however rejected this offer saying the focus instead should be on getting vacated the territories that are “illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan”.
The UN chief who is on a four-day tour to Pakistan to attend an international conference on Afghan refugees poured out his concern about the cross border terrorism and military conflict in Kashmir.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year. India”s decision evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded its diplomatic ties with India.
However, India has defended its move, saying that the special status provisions were revoked in order to bring development in the region and reduce cross-border terrorism.
A proposal of mediation was also offered last year by US President Donald Trump in the presence of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan at a joint press conference during the latter’s visit to Washington in July.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in reply emphasized that cross border terrorism on India should cease and territories occupied forcibly be vacated. Adding to that he mentioned about how any issue that needs to be dealt with should happen bilaterally and not through meditation.