United Nations, Aug 9 : Amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday appealed for ‘maximum restraint’.
Mr Guterres said in a statement issued by his Spokesperson said that he had been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, 'with concern', adding 'The position of the UN on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.'
The UN chief said he was 'concerned over reports of restrictions in Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region', and called on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.'
"The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement”, the statement continued, “which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means,'' in accordance with the UN Charter.
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.
On August 5, in a major constitutional step, India revoked the controversial Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Terming Article 370 as a major hurdle in the development of the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that politics of vote bank has looted the youth of Jammu and Kashmir for over 70 years and is equally harmful for people of all religions.
He also said said that because of Article 370, democracy never took root in J&K, corruption flourished, widespread poverty took root and no socio-economic infrastructure could come up. "It is the root cause of terrorism." he added.