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United Nations unable to function in held Kashmir due to India's non-cooperation

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday regretted the fact that the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was unable to fully function in held Kashmir due to India’s non-cooperation.

The UN’s military mission is only able to operate on the Pakistani controlled side of the LoC, as India refuses to accept its functioning on the other side and opposes its expansion, said the UN secretary general.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Dr Maleeha Lodhi, in the meeting with the top diplomat, asked the UN secretary general to ensure that UNMOGIP is able to report facts independently regarding the situation in held Kashmir to the UN Security Council.

Moon also conveyed his dismay at the postponement of the Saarc summit, and said “it could have been a good opportunity for dialogue”.

Lodhi said during the meeting that Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint but would respond forcefully to any acts of aggression and provocation.

She added that the responsibility for the escalating crisis rests entirely with India.

The UN secretary general urged both Pakistan and India to de-escalate tensions and offered the organisation’s assistance in the matter. He also conveyed condolences on the deaths of two Pakistan Army soldiers.

Ambassador Lodhi said India has, by its declarations and actions, created conditions that pose an imminent threat to regional and International peace and security.

She added that while India’s claim of carrying out a surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC) was false, India had by its own admission, committed open aggression against Pakistan.

“The international community, and especially the United Nations, should not ignore this grave threat to international peace and security with possibly catastrophic consequences for the entire region,” said Lodhi.

She urged the world’s top diplomat to intervene boldly and unequivocally by calling on India to halt its aggressive actions and provocations, lest these lead to an even more dangerous situation.

“India has provoked this crisis to divert international attention away from the indigenous Kashmiri uprising against Indian occupation.”

Lodhi also urged Moon to play a role in bringing an end to the grave human rights violations committed by Indian security forces in held Kashmir.

“If India did not heed this call, the UN’s relevant mechanisms, including the Security Council, must be advised of this imminent threat to international peace and security, as required under the UN Charter,” said Pakistan’s permanent representative during the meeting.

Earlier, Lodhi met president of the UN Security Council, Gerard van Bohemen of New Zealand and urged him to informally brief the 15-member body on her country’s dangerous escalation in tension resulting from unprovoked firing by Indian troops across the LoC.

Urgent steps were need to avert a full-blown crisis, she said.

Soaring tensions

In one of the worst episodes of cross-border firing along the Line of Control, at least two Pakistan Army soldiers were killed as Indian troops opened fire on the first line of defence.

India also claimed to have performed a surgical strike by crossing the disputed boundary. The Indian claims were rubbished by Pakistan Army.

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Later it emerged that an Indian soldier was captured by the Pakistan army, while Indian soldiers were also killed in the episode of firing across the LoC.

An Indian army official based in New Delhi said, “It is confirmed one soldier from 37 Rashtriya Rifles with weapons has inadvertently crossed over to the Pakistan side of the Line of Control”.

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