With tension between the India and Pakistan forces accentuating after the repeated cross-border violations by the latter, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged both the nations to exercise “maximum restraint”. The UN chief also hoped that talks between the National Security Advisors of both sides will result in a “positive outcome”.
“The Secretary-General calls upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,” Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued by his spokesperson on Tuesday.
Ban Ki-moon spoke even as Indian forces were retaliating to another ceasefire violation by Pakistan forces in Jammu and Kashmir. The UN Secretary General once again reiterated his stated position calling for both the nations to address their differences through dialogue.
Welcoming the upcoming NSA-level talks between the two countries, the UN chief expressed hope that the meeting will lead to a positive result.
“The Secretary-General urges both countries to continue to address their differences through dialogue. In that regard, he welcomes the planned meeting between their respective NSAs on 23-24 August, and expresses the hope that it will lead to positive outcomes,” the statement said.
Expressing serious concerns on the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, Ban Ki-moon conveyed his condolences to the families who lost their members in the firing at LoC and International Border (IB).
There have been more than 40 ceasefire violations this month alone, killing 7 civilians and leaving more than dozen injured.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Sartaj Aziz are expected to take up the issue of ceasefire violations during their talks in New Delhi slated to be held on August 23.
(With inputs from the PTI)