UN chief urges India and Pakistan to dial down tensions in wake of Kashmir attack

UN Photo/Mark Garten United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (file).

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to take steps to defuse tensions in the wake an attack in Kashmir late last week that left dozes of Indian security forces dead.

“The Secretary-General has been following with great concern the situation in South Asia,” UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement on the 14 February terrorist attack that took place in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to media reports, tensions have been rising between India and Pakistan following the attack, which took place in a disputed territory that separates the two countries and resulted in the deaths of 40 Indian security personnel and the attacker.

Mr. Guterres reiterated his strong condemnation of the attack and stressed that it is essential that there be accountability under international law and the perpetrators of terrorist acts be brought swiftly to justice.

At the same time, the Secretary-General urgently appealed to the Governments of both India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the situation does not further deteriorate.

“It is the belief of the Secretary-General that all difficult challenges can be resolved peacefully and satisfactorily through meaningful mutual engagement,” said the Spokesman.

The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan. According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.

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