UN chief Ban Ki-moon offers to help resolve Kashmir tensions

UN chief Ban Ki-moon offers to help resolve Kashmir tensions

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Mail Today on Friday that the world body is willing to mediate in the Kashmir issue ‘if so requested’ by both concerned parties

UN chief Ban Ki-moon offers to help resolve Kashmir tensions as Modi’s arrival in New York is marred by U.S. court summons

By SAURABH SHUKLA

27 September 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to address the United Nations General Assembly, but the India-Pakistan relationship has already come the same old full circle in New York.

The UN chief has told Mail Today that the world body is willing to play a role – if so asked – in resolving the Kashmir issue.

This was after a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where Kashmir was rather prominent on the menu.

Modi had landed in America by then, but the day wasn’t over.

It was time for Sharif’s address to the General Assembly, and he invoked the automaton ghost of plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, expressing in the same breath his disappointment at New Delhi’s recent cancellation of foreign secretary-level talks between the two nations.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Mail Today on Friday that the world body is willing to mediate in the Kashmir issue \”if so requested\” by both concerned parties.

Ban said that the \”good offices\” of the world body would be available for the purpose.

The Secretary General’s comment came soon after he met Sharif who promptly brought up the Kashmir issue all over again.

It was widely expected that Sharif would rake up the Kashmir issue during his General Assembly speech.

And he did, true to form, putting Kashmir before Afghanistan and Gaza.

\”The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved,\” Sharif said in address, declaring it to be a \”responsibility of the international community\”.

Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement that Sharif met Ban on September 25 and \”pointed out that Kashmir was one of the longstanding conflicts on the agenda of the UN Security Council\”.

Sharif also \”asked the Secretary General to take steps for its peaceful settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions\”, the statement added.

Pakistan has again ruled out resumption of any dialogue with India unless the initiative in this regard is taken by New Delhi.

This latest American chapter in India-Pakistan relations comes on the heels of India’s hardened stand vis-à-vis its relations with Pakistan.

New Delhi recently scrapped foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan in the wake of ceasefire violations on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Besides Kashmir, the UN Secretary General also spoke on other issues like terrorism, Indo-Pak relations and climate change, among others. Ban said that even though Modi missed the United Nations Climate Change Summit, he may outline his action plan on climate change during his address to the General Assembly.

Here’s more from what the UN Secretary General told Mail Today:

Peace in Kashmir

\”The United Nations continues to be willing to provide its good offices, should they be requested by both parties.\”

India-Pakistan relations

\”I have long expressed my hope that the issues be addressed through dialogue.\”

UN against terrorism

\”Eliminating terrorism requires international solidarity and a multifaceted approach. Besides using other tools, we must tackle the underlying conditions that provide extremist groups the opportunity to spread violence. The biggest threat to terrorists is not the power of missiles, but the politics of inclusion, peaceful societies, human rights, education, jobs and real opportunity. Free and independent societies that are free from oppression and occupation will kill terrorism.\”

\”I welcome the recent Security Council resolution on terrorism and its call for strengthening implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Through the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, we are stepping up efforts in support of member states and regions seriously affected by terrorism.\”

\”Through the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre, we are working with member states to enhance understanding of the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon, and to develop and implement policies to combat their flow.\” \”Through our collective efforts, we must ensure that all counter-terrorism actions and policies are consistent with international human rights and humanitarian laws.

As the custodian of the Charter of the United Nations, I want to emphasise that all measures must be fully in line with the goals, values and principles of the United Nations.\”

Rogue states supporting terrorism

\”This is a matter for the member states. I have encouraged them to take strong and united action to combat terrorism. Member states continue to consider these issues.\”

Kashmir floods

\”I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who were affected, as well as to the government of India. I commend the skilled disaster management actions taken by the government, and the United Nations stands by to assist if requested.\”

UNMOGIP Delhi office

\”The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has received the Indian government’s request to vacate the premises which it is using in New Delhi. The Mission is currently conducting a market survey to assess costs and identify possible alternative locations. UNMOGIP is in contact with the Indian authorities and will continue its cooperation on this matter.\”

Expectations from Modi

\”I was not disappointed that Indian PM Narendra Modi could not attend the summit. India was represented by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. I commend the country’s initiatives in combating climate change. Prime Minister Modi will be addressing the General Debate and he has an opportunity to outline the action plan on climate. Actions of the countries including those of India will be important, and the focus must remain on what they say and do.\”

Sharif blames India for Kashmir issue

By Mail Today Reporter

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday raised the Kashmir bogey at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

\”For decades, attempts had been made to resolve the Kashmir dispute. The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved. This is the responsibility of the international community…,\” Sharif said in his address, adding that dialogue and diplomacy could only resolve the issue.

Referring to New Delhi’s decision to cancel the foreign secretary-level meeting, Sharif said his government was disappointed with the development.

\”We were disappointed at the cancellation of the foreign secretary- level talks by India. The world community saw it as a missed opportunity,\” he said.

\”Pakistan is convinced that we must remain engaged in the dialogue process for settling disputes and building economic and trade relations. Let us not ignore the dividends of peace.\”

In August, India had called off the foreign secretary level talks after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had held meetings with Hurriyat leaders despite New Delhi’s repeated objections. The meeting was scheduled to be held in Islamabad on August 25.

\”Our support and advocacy of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is our historic commitment and a duty, as a party to the Kashmir dispute,\” he said. Sharif reminded the UN of its resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir.

\”The people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise,\” he claimed.

The Pakistan premier also gave indication that he was not averse to resume dialogue with New Delhi.

\”Pakistan is ready to work for resolution of this problem through negotiations,\” Sharif added.

-Daily Mail Today (UK)-

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