UN chief urges Pakistan, India to hold talks on Kashmir

By: News Desk      Published: 02:32 PM, 29 Jan, 2021
UN chief urges Pakistan, India to hold talks on Kashmir

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on nuclear-armed Pakistan and India to “come together and seriously discuss their problems” stemming from the unresolved Kashmir dispute, saying his good offices are always available for mediation.

Replying to a question at his first press conference in 2021, the UN chief warned that there was no “military solution” to the decades-old conflict.

“It is clear when seeing Pakistan and India, any military confrontation between the two would be a disaster of unmitigated proportions for both countries and for the whole world,” he warned.

“I do believe that is absolutely essential to have a de-escalation of the situation, namely in the Line of Control” in the disputed Kashmir region, Guterres said, adding, “I think it’s absolutely essential for the two countries to be able to come together and seriously discuss their problems.”

“And,” he added, “I think it’s essential that human rights are fully respected in all territories that you mentioned.”

He said he stood by his statement of Aug 8, 2019, which called for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute based on UN resolutions and the UN Charter.

“Now, things have not moved in the right direction, our good offices are always available, and we will insist within it on finding peaceful solutions for problems that have no military solution.”

Pakistan slams India’s brutalities

Pakistan has called for the implementation of the UN resolutions that promised the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people, saying a “surge in diplomacy” was essential to resolve the old and new disputes.

“The process of de-colonization will be incomplete until the people of Jammu & Kashmir are enabled to exercise their right to self-determination through an UN-supervised plebiscite as called for in several resolutions of the Security Council,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Speaking in a debate on the annual report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, the Pakistani envoy said India was suppressing that fundamental right through its “brutal” campaign being executed by a 900,000 strong occupation army, massive violations of human rights, with hundreds of Kashmiri political leaders in jail, thousands of youth disappeared, a hundred thousand Kashmiris martyred, thousands more injured and 20,000 women raped.

“While India seeks to silence the Kashmiris through this colonial project, it seeks to silence Pakistan through the threat of aggression – incessantly violating the ceasefire along the Line-of-Control,” he said, adding it perpetuates terrorism and subversion against Pakistan and was planning false flag operations.

As the extremist BJP-RSS fanatics were facing mounting opposition to their fascist rule, Ambassador Akram warned that they may well engineer another conflict to retain their totalitarian grip on power – referring to their sneak attack in Feb. 2019.

In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy regretted that respect for its principles and purposes has significantly eroded, with conflicts raging around the world, great power rivalries revived, unleashing a new global arms race, and aggravating poverty and suffering.

“The imperative of responding collectively and urgently to the current existential crises – disease, poverty, climate change – is being trumped by vested interests,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“Xenophobia, racism and extremist ideologies have risen like ghosts from the past; the trappings of democracy are being exploited to advance authoritarian agendas.”

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated these trends, he said.

Several successful vaccines have been developed against the virus, Ambassador Akram said, while underscoring that both money and vaccines must be equitably and universally deployed to save lives, prevent massive human suffering and revive the global economy.

In this regard, he highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan five-point action plan for equitable vaccine distribution, debt relief, concessional finance, Special Drawing Rights (SDR) creation and reversing illicit financial flows.

“Beyond recovery from the current crisis, we need to build an equitable and efficient international financial architecture, a fair-trade and tax regime, investment in sustainable infrastructure and optimum utilization of science and technology to create a world economic and social order that is fair, resilient and sustainable.”

Supporting the UN chief’s diplomacy for peace, the Pakistani envoy said it must ensure strict adherence to the UN Charter and implementation of Security Council resolutions; halt and reverse the new global nuclear and conventional arms race; oppose the rise of fascist, totalitarian and majoritarian regimes that trample human rights; end racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and promote universal observance of human rights; and above all, activate multilateral, UN-led measures to resolve the old and new conflicts and disputes across the world.

Pakistan, he said, will continue to contribute actively to promoting the United Nations as the central actor and guide in building international peace and security and prosperity for all.