Guterres follows India-Pakistan border situation, encourages dialogue

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Image credit: The Indian Express

–Arul Louis

United Nations, Jan 23: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is following the India-Pakistan border situation where there has been firing by both sides. He is encouraging both nations to hold a dialogue, his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said.

Asked at the daily UN briefing about the incidents, Dujarric on Monday said: “We are obviously aware. We are following this — what is really going on for the last ten days. And again the Secretary-General would encourage both sides to address any outstanding issues through dialogue.”

When a reporter asked why Guterres was not getting involved in trying to find a solution to the “crisis”, Djuarric replied that while the good offices of Guterres are available, “everyone needs to agree on involving the UN. And that is true of any mediation effort.”

India is opposed to any third party involvement in issues with Pakistan and maintains that according to the 1972 Shimla agreement between then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was then the president of Pakistan, the Kashmir problem is a bilateral issue and the two countries should directly deal with it.

Twelve people have died in the firings from the Pakistani side in the last few days, with a civilian killed on Sunday in the latest incident, according to Indian officials. Three of those killed were Army personnel and two belonged to the Border Security Force.

Pakistan and the terrorists have also suffered casualties.



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