September 18, 2020

UN Chief calls for ‘positive’ move on Kashmir, sidesteps ‘demography’ question

New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called upon India and Pakistan to move in a positive way to resolve their differences. He sidestepped a question by a Pakistani reporter at a news conference on Wednesday about what the journalist asserted were demographic changes India was making to Kashmir, and instead referred to a statement he made last year and said, “It is absolutely essential to move forward in a positive way according to what I expressed then and I maintain today.” In that statement issued last year soon after India rescinded its special constitutional status Guterres had referred to the Shimla Agreement of 1972 which, he said, “states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”
“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions,” he had also said while expressing concern over reports of restrictions on movement “on the Indian-side” which “could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.” On Wednesday he said, “I will make exactly the same statement I made in that moment” last year in August.
The Shimla Agreement between India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who held the office Pakistan’s president at that time, laid down that disputes between the two countries would be settled bilaterally .

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