UN chief invokes Shimla accord

UN chief invokes Shimla accord


The UN chief, Mr.  Antonio Guterres has recalled the Simla Agreement of 1972, a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan that rejects third-party mediation in Kashmir after Islamabad asked him to play his due role' following New Delhi’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Mr. Guterres’ spokesman, Mr.  Stephane Dujarric, said the Secretary-General had been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir 'with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint'.

The Secretary-General also 'recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations'.

The emphasis on the Simla Agreement, that states that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and does away with any third-party mediation, came a day after Pakistan’s envoy to the UN, Ms.  Maleeha Lodhi, met Mr. Guterres’ Chef de Cabinet, Ms.  Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti asking the Secretary-General to 'play his due role' following India’s decision on Monday to revoke Article 370. Ms. Lodhi also met the President of the UN Security Council for the month of August, the  Polish Ambassador, Ms.  Joanna Wronecka, over Kashmir.

'No comments, Ms.  Wronecka said at the Security Council stakeout at the UN headquarters on Thursday, walking away as she was asked about the letter from the Pakistan Foreign Minister, Mr.  Shah Mahmood Qureshi, to the Security Council on Kashmir.

The Secretary-General did not offer his good offices nor did he make any offer to mediate between India and Pakistan. Instead he referred to the Simla Agreement.

Mr. Guterres also called on all parties to refrain from taking steps' that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir, comments that come in the wake of Pakistan’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with India and suspend bilateral trade.

Pakistan also announced that it would not be sending its High Commissioner-designate to India. Pakistan’s new High Commissioner, Mr.  Moin-ul-Haq, was expected to leave for India this month to take up his responsibilities.

Mr. Dujarric said the 'position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions'.