UN chief Antonio Guterres has ruled out any mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue unless all parties agree to it and asked India and Pakistan to address their outstanding issues through talks amidst heightened tensions along the border. The UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that in principle good offices of the UN chief are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the world body. Asked about escalating tensions between India and Pakistan due to ongoing skirmishes and firing along the border, Dujarric said, “We’re obviously aware. We’re following this… what’s been going on, really for the last 10 days.”
Asked why the Secretary-General is not so keen to involve himself in this crisis, Dujarric said, “In principle good offices of Guterres are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the UN.” “As a matter of principle I’m not talking specifically about this issue, but about any issue where there is conflict between parties, the Secretary-General’s good offices are always available,” he said. “As in any issue…if there are multiple parties, everyone needs to agree on involving the UN. That is true of any mediation effort,” Dujarric said.
“The Secretary-General would encourage both sides to address any outstanding issues through dialogue,” he said. The relations between India and Pakistan are strained following series of attacks by Pakistan-based terror groups and incidents of ceasefire violations, causing casualties on both sides. India is opposed to any third-party intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue while Pakistan has continuously sought mediation to sort out the differences.