UN monitoring ‘tense’ situation following revocation of occupied Kashmir’s special status: Spokesman

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 05 (APP):The United Nations Monday voiced concern over Indian government’s move to revoke the special status of Kashmir, a UN-recognized disputed territory, that have led to the heightening of tensions between India and Pakistan.

“We are very concerned about the rise of tensions,” the Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the regular noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York in response to a question.
Asked whether the UN chief intended to play a role in resolving the regional crisis created by the Indian action, he said, “As for the Secretary-General’s role, he has often expressed his position on that and his position remains the same.”

The secretary-general has all along maintained that India and Pakistan should resolve all outstanding disputes between the two countries, including Kashmir, through dialogue. He has also consistently offered his good offices should both parties agree. Pakistan has always welcomed his good offices offer, but India rejected it.

“We are following with concern the tense situation in the region,” Dujarric said.

The spokesman also said the UN was aware of reports of restrictions in Indian occupied Kashmir, obviously referring to the Indian authorities placing the entire region under lockdown early Monday, while India sent in tens of thousands of additional troops and engaged in cross Line-of-Control firing.

“Over the past few days,the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan otherwise, known as UNMOGIP, has observed and reported an increase in military activity along the Line of Control,” the spokesman said.

“We urge all parties to exercise restraint’, he added.

Communications in Indian occupied Kashmir have been cut and political leaders have been been put under house arrest.

The president of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, also expressed concern over the escalating tensions in the disputed region.

“President Espinosa believes that tensions in the region do not benefit anyone,” her spokesman Monica Grayley said, in response to a question at a briefing on Monday.

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