NEW YORK: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday underscored the need for respecting human rights in Indian occupied Kashmir and urged India and Pakistan to find a solution to the grave crisis through dialogue.
Indian occupied Kashmir has been under lockdown since August 5 after the Narendra Modi-led government revoked the special status of the valley.
Responding to a question during a press conference marking the start of the General Assembly’s 74th session, Guterres said he would continue to advocate for the peaceful settlement of the decades-old Kashmir dispute.
“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the [UN] Charter and applicable Security Council resolutions,” the UN chief said in his statement.
When that the Kashmiris continue to suffer under the military lockdown and there has been no change in the situation and no movement towards an India-Pakistan dialogue and how he intended to bring it about, Guterres said his capacity for helping resolve the situation is “related to good offices and good office can only be implemented when the parties accept it.”
“And on the other hand,” Guterres said, “it relates to advocacy. Advocacy was expressed and will be maintained.”
He added, “I go on with a clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory and I go on with the clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolutely essential element for the solution of the problem.”