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UN chief offers to mediate between India, Pakistan

PTI |

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has offered to act as a mediator between India and Pakistan to help the nuclear-armed neighbours resolve their disputes as he urged both nations to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions in the region.

quot;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 18quot; a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson said here on Friday.

The statement said the UN Chief urges both sides to quot;exercise maximum restraintquot; and take quot;immediate steps to de-escalate the situationquot;.

Ban said his good offices are available quot;if accepted by both sidesquot; as he called on the Governments of Pakistan and India to address their outstanding issues including Kashmir quot;peacefully through diplomacy and dialogue.quot;

India conducted surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 targeting terror launch pads across the Line of Control.

The strike came just days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir that killed 18 jawans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the attackers would not go quot;unpunishedquot; and the sacrifice of the jawans would not be in vain.

The UN has long maintained an institutional presence in the contested area between India and Pakistan.

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 neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.

India has however always maintained that UNMOGIP has quot;outlived its relevancequot; and has quot;no role to play whatsoeverquot;.