UNITED NATIONS: A senior United Nations official has urged India and Pakistan to address their ‘outstanding issues’ through peaceful means, reiterating Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ concern over the growing tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca made the remarks during his talks with top Pakistani officials during a visit to Pakistan that ended on April 13, according to a statement issued by UN spokesperson’s office.
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It said the UN official held meetings with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Special Secretary Tasnim Aslam in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 12.
He also met with representatives of the diplomatic community and members of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT).
“Jenca reiterated that the Secretary-General is concerned about the heightening tensions along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, the statement said, adding, “He echoed the Secretary General’s calls for maximum restraint and efforts to de-escalate the situation.”
Jenca underlined in his conversations in Islamabad that Pakistan’s commitment to fostering multilateralism and cooperation was important for peace and stability in the region and beyond.
“He welcomed the decision of Pakistan and Afghanistan to increase cooperation through the implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS),” the UN statement said.
Jenca underscored the importance of this positive momentum for the further advancement of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, it said. He also commended Pakistan’s generosity in hosting refugees from Afghanistan and other countries.
Jenca welcomed Pakistan’s contribution to UN peacekeeping as one of leading troop-contributing countries, and thanked Pakistan for its close cooperation with UN Country Team.
Pakistan is among the top contributors to UN peacekeeping operations around the world, with more than 7,000 Pakistanis currently serving as blue helmets.
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More than 170,000 Pakistanis have served over the past decades. One hundred and forty seven Pakistani peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of world peace and stability. During the visit, Jenca also participated at a medal parade of the UN Military Observation Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) where the UN recognized the service of its peacekeepers deployed to group, the statement concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2018.