• Sunday, November 27, 2022

ASIA

Top UN official urges India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue peacefully

Imran Khan (left) and Narendra Modi

By: Pramod Thomas

THE president of the UN general assembly has encouraged India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue ‘through peaceful means’.

Volkan Bozkir has said that he supports dialogue and diplomacy, recalling the 1972 Simla Agreement between the two countries.

The position of the UN on Jammu and Kashmir is governed by the UN Charter and applicable Security Council resolutions, he said in a press conference.

“I also recall India and Pakistan’s Simla Agreement of 1972, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter,” said Turkish diplomat Bozkir, who has been serving as the president of the assembly since 2020.

“I call on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. In general, I support dialogue and diplomacy, and I encourage both Pakistan and India, neighbours, to resolve this dispute through peaceful means. This was the message I gave; it will be the same message if a question is asked when I’m in Pakistan.”

The Simla Agreement, signed by then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972, is a bilateral agreement that rejects any third-party mediation on the Kashmir issue.

Bozkir will be travelling to Bangladesh and Pakistan later this month on the invitation of the respective governments.

He said that he had also planned a visit India during his trip but postponed it due to an ‘unexpected situation’, referring to India’s Covid-19 crisis.

India on August 5, 2019, revoked provisions of Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcating the state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India’s move.

India has categorically told the international community that its move on Kashmir is an internal matter.

Eastern Eye

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