UN Chief Tries to Invoke Shimla Conference, Reminds Pakistan and India to Use Maximum Restraint

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UN Chief Tries to Invoke Shimla Conference, Reminds Pakistan and India to Use Maximum Restraint

Monday, 5th of August 2019, India suddenly revoked Article 370 of Kashmir, and decided to retaliate against the agreement by trying to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. Rightly angered, Pakistan demanded a response from the United Nations and warned India of retaliation and strong military action if the case proceeded. In response, the Chief of United Nations, Antonio Guterres asked India and Pakistan to hold back on any military action, practice restraint on Kashmir issue and illuminated the Shimla Agreement, according to which no third-party could meddle within.

The Secretary-General’s remarks came after India on Monday revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Pakistan termed the Indian action as “unilateral and illegal”, and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council.

“The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said here.

Dujarric specifically said that the Secretary-General “also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which 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 Secretary General did not offer his good offices nor did he make any offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. Instead, he referred to the Simla Agreement, which is a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan and rejects any third-party mediation in the issue.

Guterres also called “on all parties to refrain from taking steps” that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the position of the United Nations on the region was governed by the Charter of the United Nations and is applicable to Security Council resolutions.

When asked to be more specific about reference to the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir in the statement, Dujarric said “I’m not going to go into any more specifics of the statement which also refers to our concern” about reports of restrictions in Kashmir in India. “So I’ll refer you to the statement,” he said.

Dujarric reiterated that Guterres and the UN Secretariat were following the situation “very closely”.

He said there had been contacts from the UN Secretariat both with the Indian and Pakistani authorities and with the Permanent Missions of India and Pakistan. He said there is no plan for the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on Kashmir.

Reacting to India’s move, Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi.

India has said that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the issue was strictly internal to the country.