Washington | United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres on Friday urged India and Pakistan to to exercise “maximum restraint” and refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“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.
The Secretary-General’s remarks came after India on August 5 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 has strongly rejected India’s decision, calling it “illegal” and “unconstitutional”. They have also called for the UN to take appropriate actions.
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They also downgraded the relations and sent Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria back.
The Secretary-General did not make any offer of mediation between the two parties, and instead invoked the Shimla Agreement and has advised both the countries to resolve the issue bilaterally.
Guterres also called “on all parties to refrain from taking steps” that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
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.
Mr. Dujarric reiterated that Guterres and the U.N. Secretariat were following the situation “very closely“.
He also said that there is no plan for the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on Kashmir.