Sartaj Aziz, adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, had written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the recent border tension with India and sought the UN's intervention, stepping up its attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue.
In the letter to Ban, Aziz said Pakistan believes the UN has an important role to play in promoting the objective of peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, including through his "good offices". Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, when asked to comment on the letter seeking Ban's intervention and his viewpoint on the issue, told reporters yesterday he would refer to a statement that was issued last week by Ban's spokesperson in which the UN chief encouraged India and Pakistan to resolve all differences through dialogue and engage constructively to find a long-term solution for peace and stability in Kashmir.
The Secretary-General is "concerned about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. He deplores the loss of lives and the displacement of civilians on both sides," said the statement. A war of words between the two countries over the situation at the LoC took place last week at the UN General Assembly where India said that it was a "matter of deep regret" that Pakistan violated the ceasefire, in which eight people were killed and several others injured.
India made it clear that its armed forces are "fully ready" to respond to "provocation". India also said that the onus of creating a positive environment for normalisation of relations is on Pakistan. The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between the two countries.
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. India has however always maintained that UNMOGIP has "outlived its relevance" and has "no role to play whatsoever" on the issue.