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Bridging The Gap
 UN official calls for Pak-India de-escalation
 Thursday 08 December, 2016
UN official calls for Pak-India de-escalation

UNITED NATIONS: The UN leadership has called for resumption of dialogue and de-escalation of tension between Pakistan and India in their meetings with the Prime Ministerís Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi in New York.

According to a press release, Mr Fatemi met UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffery Feltman and Secretary General-designate Antonio Guterres. He was accompanied Ambassador to UN Dr Maleeha Lodhi.

In his meetings at the UN headquarters, Mr Fatemi reiterated Pakistanís commitment to multilateralism. He said Pakistan expected the UN to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in the region, especially in the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Recalling that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had reached out to India and made efforts to develop a mutually beneficial relationship, he expressed disappointment at the efforts not being reciprocated.

Mr Fatemi briefed the UN officials about continued human rights excesses being committed by Indian security forces on Kashmiri people.

Efforts to quash a popular, peaceful, spontaneous and indigenous uprising in India-held Kashmir had led to killing of over 100 people, injuries to thousands with over 600 blinded by the brutal use of pellet guns, he said.

To divert international attention from the atrocities, Indian forces had also stepped up ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, he said, adding that a particularly deplorable aspect of this escalation was the deliberate targeting of civilians.

India had also closed the doors on any bilateral engagement, he said.

In this situation, Mr Fatemi said, the UN had a moral responsibility to call for ending human rights violations in India-held Kashmir, play its role in resolution of this long festering dispute and help in immediately de-escalating tension.

On Afghanistan, Mr Fatemi said Pakistan was ready to play its part for peace and stability in the country. Pakistan had extended the deadline for return of Afghan refugees, as it believed that they should go back to their homeland with dignity and honour, he said.

The special assistant also mentioned the consolidation of democracy, economic revival and counterterrorism efforts in the country. The counterterrorism operations had been very successful in eliminating terrorist infrastructure and hideouts and the campaign would continue until the last terrorist was eliminated, he said.

Deputy Secretary General Eliasson expressed concern at the regional situation and called for the lowering of tension. He praised Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for decades.

Mr Fatemi expressed the hope that the fruitful cooperation between Pakistan and the UN would enhance with Mr Guterres at the helm.

The minister of state also met a group of Arab ambassadors during his daylong stay in New York.

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