UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on India and Pakistan “to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir”. “The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint,” Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said.
He said the “position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.”
“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,” Dujarric said in the daily press briefing.
He said the Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions in Kashmir.
“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
India on Tuesday removed part of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a significant autonomy. The central government also divided the state in two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir with its own legislature and Ladakh with legislature.
Pakistan on Wednesday decided to suspend bilateral trade with India. At the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was also decided to downgrade the diplomatic relations with New Delhi.
"Our ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts here will also be sent back," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a local Pakistani tv channel.
The National Security Committee meeting was attended by Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Interior Minister, Minister for Education, Minister for Human Rights, Minister for KA&GB, Law Minister, Adviser Finance, CJCSC, COAS, CAS, V-CNS, SAPM on Information, DG-ISI, DG-ISPR, Secretary Foreign Affairs and other senior officers.