Urges India and Pakistan to ‘exercise restraint’
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he was following “with concern” the tense situation in the India-Pakistan region and urged the two neighbours to exercise restraint. “We are following with concern the tense situation in the region. We urge all parties to exercise restraint,” Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said. He said the UN was also aware of reports of restrictions in Kashmir. “We are very concerned about the rise in tensions. As for the secretary-general’s role, he has often expressed his position on that and his position remains the same,” Dujarric said in a reference to the UN chief’s position that his good offices are always available should “both sides” ask for it. The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) observed and reported an increase in military activity along the Line of Control (LoC) in recent days. “The United Nations appeals to both sides to exercise maximum restraint to ensure that the situation does not further deteriorate,” he said.
Closely following events in Kashmir
The US State Department said it was closely following events in Kashmir after India said it was revoking the special status of the territory and expressed concern about reports of detentions. “We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities,” the department’s spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control.”
‘Ladakh’s new status unacceptable’
China on Tuesday objected to India declaring Ladakh as a Union Territory, saying the step was against its “territorial sovereignty” and asked India to “exercise caution” and not “complicate” the border issue. “China has always objected to the Indian side drawing China’s territory in the western section of the China-India border into India’s administrative jurisdiction. This position is firm, consistent and has never changed in any way. In recent days, the Indian side has unilaterally modified its domestic laws in such a way as to continue to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty. This practice is unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to India’s changes in Jammu and Kashmir. “We urge the Indian side to exercise caution on the border issue, to strictly abide by the relevant agreements reached between the two sides and to refrain from any move that would further complicate the border issue,” he said.