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Contacts being made at ‘various levels’ with India, Pakistan over Kashmir issue: UN

United Nations

The UN and its leadership is in contact with India and Pakistan at “various levels”, with Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterating his appeal to all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint amidst tensions over Kashmir, the UN chief’s spokesperson has said.

The spokesperson was responding to a question as to why Secretary General Antonio Guterres is reluctant to take on the issue of India and Pakistan.

“Look, there is no reluctance on the part of the Secretary General. We are very well aware and following the situation with a lot of concern. Contacts are being had at various levels, and we urge all of the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint,” Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing here on Wednesday.

When asked again why Guterres wouldn’t engage with the leaders of India and Pakistan, Dujarric said, “I understand. I’ll refer you to my last answer I just gave you.”

In response to another question, Dujarric confirmed that the UN has received a letter from Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who wrote to the world body on the Kashmir issue.

“It was received. It will be circulated as a document of the Security Council, as requested, and we’re obviously studying very closely the content of the letter.”

Dujarric again declined to comment on claims that India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status is in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

“I’m not going to comment any further at this point on the situation,” Dujarric said.

Responding to questions on the situation in Kashmir, Monica Grayley, spokeswoman for President of the UN General Assembly (PGA) Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said the PGA is currently travelling and is following the situation “as she can” on her trip. “She is looking forward to be briefed by the Secretary General when she returns to New York.

On Tuesday, Dujarric had declined to comment on questions at the daily press briefing that India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status is in violation of Security Council resolutions, reiterating only that the UN chief is following the developments in the region with concern.

“I think we’ve expressed and said very clearly that we are following the developments in the region with concern. We the Secretary General’s position at this point is to urge all parties to exercise restraint,” Dujarric had said.

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