UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is likely to raise the Kashmir issue during the high-level UN General Assembly session that begins next week. Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief has underscored the need for dialogue as the only way to resolve the issue and, as part of the solution for the current crisis in Kashmir, to make sure that human rights aspects are very much dealt with, as well.
On Wednesday, Guterres emphasised that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolute essential element for reaching a solution on the Kashmir issue, and said his good offices are available should both sides ask for it and called for full respect of human rights.
Tensions are high between India and Pakistan after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories on August 5.
After the August 5 order, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India. Islamabad had demanded that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) set up a commission to look into what it termed as “Indian brutality" in the region.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.
Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had claimed that 58 countries had joined his country in the Human Rights Council "reinforcing" the demand of the international community on India to lift the restrictions and "protect Kashmiris` rights".
On September 23, India had said Pakistan’s attempt to “polarise” and “politicise” the Kashmir issue using lies and deceit at the UN Human Rights Council has totally failed and that world community was well aware of its credentials.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was quite “audacious” on the part of Pakistan, a country which is “epicentre of terrorism”, to pretend to speak on behalf of the global community on human rights at the UNHRC session at Geneva.