UNITED STATES — UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to take “immediate steps” to de-escalate tension that soared after 40 Indian security personnel were killed in an attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama.
“The Secretary General stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation, and his good offices are always available should both sides ask,” the UN Chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Tuesday at the daily press briefing.
Dujarric was asked about a meeting Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN has sought with the Secretary General and also about Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying the UN must step in to defuse tensions between the two nations.
”...Looking at the situation in general between India and Pakistan, we’re deeply concerned at the increase in tensions between the two countries in the wake of the attack on Indian security personnel on 14 February in Pulwama,” Dujrraic said.
He said Pakistan’s mission at the UN requested for the meeting with the Secretary General.
“We have seen press reports of a letter having been delivered to the UN. As far as we’ve ascertained, none has been received as of this very minute,” he added.
Last week, Guterres had “strongly” condemned the terror attack against security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, perpetrated by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, calling for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.
“We strongly condemn today’s attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district and express our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and to the government and people of India,” Dujarric had said at the daily press briefing last Thursday.
Responding to a question by PTI on the terror attack, Dujarric said, “We of course wish a speedy recovery to those injured and call for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.”
UN rights chief condemns Pulwama attack
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Michelle Bachelet condemns the attack and is also saddened by the further loss of life from subsequent gun battles in the same area Monday, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Rupert Colville said in Geneva Tuesday.
The UN Human Rights chief expressed hope that escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours “will not add further to the insecurity in the region”.
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Colville said the High Commissioner is also “concerned” by reports from India that “some elements” are using the attack as “justification for threats and potential acts of violence” targeting Kashmiri people living in different parts of India.
In New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday directed officials to ensure protection of innocent Kashmiris living in different parts of the country.
“We acknowledge actions taken by the Indian authorities to tackle these incidents and we hope that the Government will continue to take steps to protect people from all forms of harm that may be directed at them on account of their ethnicity or identity,” Colville said.