United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday came out against changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir and backed Security Council resolutions.

One among the UNSC resolutions requires Pakistan to withdraw all its nationals from Kashmir.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN chief was quoted as saying by IANS.

“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.”

The Council’s Resolution 47 adopted on April 21, 1948, said Pakistan should withdraw its nationals from Kashmir before a plebiscite can be held.

Pakistan, however, continues to occupy a significant part of Kashmir making a plebiscite impossible.

The Secretary-General, according to a report in IANS, also recalled the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan, 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.

The provisions of the Charter require the concerned members to settle their disputes by peaceful means and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of any nation.

The Charter also says that the UN cannot “intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state”.

Under the 1972 Simla Agreement, India has maintained that it will not have a third party involvement in the Kashmir issue, which it sees as a bilateral matter with Pakistan.

Tensions escalated between Indian and Pakistan as the Centre moved a presidential order to revoke Article 370 that gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status under the Indian Constitution.

Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended trade with India over the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistan government had termed the Centre’s move as “unilateral and illegal”.

The decision was taken at a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) – the second within a week – presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the situation following the Indian government’s move.

As per the Pakistan National Security Council decision, the government has decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India, suspend bilateral trade with New Delhi, review bilateral arrangements, take up Kashmir matter with the UN and observe August 14 in solidarity with brave Kashmiris.

(With inputs from IANS)