Sartaj Aziz speaks to UN chief; raises Kashmir issue

Aziz speaks to UN chief about Kashmir
Islamabad, Oct 19:  Continuing its attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Pakistan has raised the matter with the UN chief, saying the world body's engagement would add to its credibility in managing crisis situations.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz spoke to UN chief Ban Ki-moon on phone last night and discussed the situation along the LoC and the International Border with India, the Foreign Office said here today in a statement. "UN's engagement would add to its credibility in managing crisis situations," Aziz said told Ban.

He said the UN should not be inhibited by non-cooperation of one side. The call to Ban was part of Pakistan's attempts to raise the Kashmir issue on international forums. On October 11, Aziz wrote a letter to Ban on the security situation along the LoC and the International Border and sought the world body's intervention in resolving the issue.

However, the UN ignored Pakistan's bid to seek intervention on Kashmir, saying India and Pakistan need to resolve all differences through dialogue to find a long-term solution to the dispute. During his call last night, Aziz underlined the need for early restoration of peace and tranquility on the LoC and the International Border, the statement said.

"Pakistan was fully united and determined to thwart any aggression, and had responded to India's provocations with utmost restraint and responsibility. India should be advised to adopt a mature and reasonable approach, and refrain its armed forces from acting irrationally," Aziz told Ban.

Aziz: UN should not be inhibited by non-cooperation of one side

The UN chief "reiterated his concern on the escalation of violence along the LoC and deplored the loss of lives. He emphasized the importance of both sides taking necessary steps to de-escalate the situation and resolve all outstanding issues through negotiations," the Foreign Office said.

Aziz said, "in the interest of durable peace in the region, there must also be a way forward for resolving outstanding disputes including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, on which the UN itself has permanent responsibility to implement its own resolutions that promised self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir."

He said that pacific settlement of disputes was a cardinal principle of the UN Charter to which Pakistan was deeply committed. However, progress required cooperation of both sides.

Rejecting bilateral dialogue and denying international engagement and legitimacy were unhelpful and counter-productive, the Foreign Office said. Appreciating the work of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), Aziz said that its role should be further strengthened to facilitate more effective monitoring and reporting of ceasefire violations.


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