UN chief offers to mediate between India, Pakistan
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has offered to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed neighbors resolve their disputes, as he urged both nations to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions in the region.
"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the significant increase in tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the recent developments, in particular the reported cease-fire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) following an attack on an Indian army base in Uri on September 18," a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson said here on Friday.
The statement said the UN Chief urges both sides to "exercise maximum restraint" and take "immediate steps to de-escalate the situation".
Ban said his good offices are available, "if accepted by both sides", as he called on the governments of Pakistan and India to address their outstanding issues, including Kashmir, "peacefully through diplomacy and dialogue."
According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbors in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.
According to Al Jazeerah the Indian-administered part of Kashmir has a Muslim majority and there are a number of armed separatist groups fighting Indian rule. Tensions had already been high in Kashmir valley since the Indian army killed a young Kashmiri separatist commander in a gun battle in early July, setting off a series of protests that have left more than 80 people dead and thousands injured.
India and Pakistan, which have fought four wars, have both long laid claim to the disputed Kashmir region, and India has accused Pakistan of supporting an armed insurgency in the part that is administered by India.
- Indian Muslim political party urges against war with Pakistan
Alarmed by the mounting tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), a leading Indian Muslim political party, urged India to avoid war with Pakistan. JIH Saturday said both nations must show "wisdom and sincerity" in order to resolve their issues.
"Jamaat feels both India and Pakistan must show wisdom and sincerity using the path of dialogue and consultation in order to resolve their issues," President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, said at a press conference in New Delhi.
"War is not a panacea for our problems. India must take all steps to avoid war with Pakistan," Umari said.
Umari also condemned the attack at an army camp in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed grief over the deaths of soldiers in the attack.
Meanwhile, Muslim groups in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow and Agra towns celebrated the success of Indian Army's "surgical strikes" operation across LoC after Friday Prayer.
Local community leaders gathered at Lucknow's Eidgaah and applauded the success of Army, Financial Express reported.
Some of the groups even raised banners showing their praise and support to the Indian Army. The operation was also applauded in city's Islamic center where people also prayed for the well-being of the Jawans.