UN offers to broker peace on Kashmir
13 August, 2013
UNITED NATIONS: Expressing sorrow over the new outbreak of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has underscored the need for Pakistan and India to resolve the "long-standing" issue, saying his good offices were available if both sides agree to his mediation.
"While I am saddened by the loss of lives in the course of all this conflict, I am relatively, reasonably encouraged by the recent move by both sides to engage in dialogue, to resolve their source of conflict through dialogue – that I will strongly welcome and support," the secretary general said in a joint interview with the UN-based correspondents of Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) and a private newspaper before his departure for Islamabad for an official two-day visit, beginning today (Tuesday).
"My offer of good office remains available. If both sides think this is useful and both sides agree, then I'll be ready to offer my good offices," Ban said in response to a question whether he could help leaders of India and Pakistan resolve the decades-old dispute, which is on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
But experts point out that India has consistently rebuffed offers of mediation, whether by the United Nations or any other third party, arguing that solutions must arise bilaterally. And even in a bilateral format, very little progress has been made because of India's refusal to come to grips with the core issue of Kashmir.
Ban Ki-moon also urged the countries/groups operating armed drones to strictly adhere to the international laws.