New York, October 1: Advising India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday said he was willing to act as a mediator if both countries agreed.
“The Secretary General urges both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation. Governments of Pakistan and India must address their outstanding issues, including regarding Kashmir, peacefully through diplomacy and dialogue. His good offices are available, if accepted by both sides,” said a statement issued by the Secretary General’s office.
The statement came after Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, met with the Secretary General on Friday. Pakistan has stepped up its efforts to reach out to members of the UN Security Council in a bid to stem its growing international isolation.
Syed Akbaruddin, India’s representative to the UN, said that India had no desire to aggravate the situation.
“India believes in Ahimsa Parmo Dharma (non-violence) but it doesn’t mean we are indifferent to impunity. We have delivered a measured, proportionate counter terrorist strike and our objectives have been met,” he said.
Earlier the United Nations had not only condemned the Uri terror attack – in which Pakistan based terrorists attacked an army camp and killed 19 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir – but also said that its UN Military Observer Group in India did not witness any cross-border fire across the Line of Control.
“They (UNMOG) are obviously aware of these reports of presumed violations and are talking to the concerned authorities,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
Denying Pakistan’s claims that India had been asked to explain Thursday’s surgical strikes, Mr. Akbaruddin said: “Neither the United Nations nor any of the other member countries have approached India following Pakistan’s claims. Pakistan’s message has found no resonance in global diplomacy.”
He also added that India did not need to inform anyone about steps taken to protect the lives of its citizens.
“The facts on the ground do not change whether someone has observed it or not, or someone has acknowledged it or not. We have presented facts – threats to our way of life have to be responded by any responsible state,” Mr Akbaruddin said.