Concerned about the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon has urged the two subcontinental neighbours to resolve their issues through dialogue and peace.
Mr Ban’s request came in the wake of deteriorating political relations between New Delhi and Islamabad. The foreign-secretary level talks scheduled to be held in Islamabad on August 25 were cancelled by India due to the objectionable meeting of Pakistan’s envoy with Kashmiri separatist leaders, and there have also been a surge in ceasefire violations along the line of control.
“The Secretary-General calls on both sides to solve the issues peacefully and through dialogue,” said a statement from the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson.
New Delhi cancelled the August 25 meeting between the foreign secretaries after Pakistan’s high commissioner to India Abdul Basit held talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders. India has contended that such a meeting undermines the environment of mutual trust necessary for constructive dialogue. New Delhi made it clear to Islamabad that Pakistan should not intervene in what is India’s internal issue.
Over the last few weeks, the relations have strained due to repeated ceasefire violations. According to reports, there have been 23 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in August itself.
India’s Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has said that India has been responding effectively and strongly to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan’s side. On August 25, India’s Border Security Forces (BSF) alleged Pakistan had fired across the border into India’s civilian areas in Samba district, Arnia, RS Pura, and Banachalk sector forcing around 10,000 civilians to flee their homes.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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