UNITED NATIONS): Amid escalation in Indian troops’
bombardment across the Line of Control (LoC) in Occupied Kashmir, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced deep concern over the worsening situation in the disputed region, and urged India and Pakistan to work towards sustainable peace.
“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the deterioration of
the situation along the LoC in Occupied Kashmir in recent days,” a statement issued by his spokesman said late Thursday night.
The statement came a day after Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha
Lodhi, raised with top UN officials the latest round of Indian attacks along the LoC that led to the martyrdom of several Pakistani troops and civilians.
The UN chief called on all involved to “prioritize” the restoration of
calm and stability in order to prevent any further escalation and loss of life.
“The Secretary-General trusts that the Republic of India and Islamic
Republic of Pakistan can find common ground and work towards a sustainable peace,” the UN statement said.
“The United Nations stands by the people of the region and supports
all efforts to reach durable peace and security,” it added.
A press release issued on Wednesday by the Pakistan Mission to the UN
said that during her meeting with the Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, and Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary General, Edmond Mulet , Ambassador Lodhi also drew their attention to “abhorrent act” by Indian troops of targeting a civilian passenger bus and an ambulance trying to evacuate the injured.
She said that this attack, which led to the martyrdom of nine innocent people and severe injuries to nine others, was a breach of the most fundamental legal and humanitarian laws.
Ambassador Lodhi, according to the press release, told UN officials
that escalating tensions on the LoC was a deliberate attempt by India to divert the attention of the international community from the gross human right violations being committed by the occupation army in Indian held Kashmir.
In recent months statements by the UN secretary general have repeatedly
called for deescalation of tensions between Pakistan and India but New Delhi has ignored these and continued to act with impunity in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
The United Nations has long maintained an institutional presence in the
contested area between India and Pakistan.
According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the LoC and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.
UNMOGIP currently comprises 41 military observers and a number of
civilian staff members.