United Nations, Aug. 9: The abrogation of 370 which is passed by the Indian Parliament sparked new drama in India and Pakistan. Pakistan quickly ran to the UN and created this ‘internal’ issue became an international issue.
Reacting on this sparked issue, UN Chief Antonio Guterres urged India and Pakistan to exercise ‘maximum restraint’ and withhold from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He also invoked the ‘Simla Agreement’ which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.
The Secretary-General's remarks came after India on Monday revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
On this unexpected move by India, Pakistan said, Indian action as "unilateral and illegal", and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council.
While addressing the media," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, “The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint”.
The official statement by Antonio Guterres stated, “The Secretary-General is concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region”. Along with that, the statement also said, The Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.
Dujarric reiterated that Guterres and the UN Secretariat were following the situation "very closely".
The Secretary-General did not offer his good offices nor did he make any offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. Instead, he referred to the Simla Agreement, which is a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan and rejects any third-party mediation in the issue.
Guterres also called "on all parties to refrain from taking steps" that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the position of the United Nations on the region was governed by the Charter of the United Nations and is applicable to Security Council resolutions.
When asked to be more specific about the reference to the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir in the statement, Dujarric said, "I'm not going to go into any more specifics of the statement which also refers to our concern" about reports of restrictions in Kashmir in India. "So I'll refer you to the statement," he said.
He said there had been contacts from the UN Secretariat both with the Indian and Pakistani authorities and with the Permanent Missions of India and Pakistan. He said there is no plan for the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on Kashmir.
Reacting to India's move, Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi. India has said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the issue was strictly internal to the country.