UN urges India, Pakistan to take immediate steps to defuse tensions

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres offers to help broker a solution if both sides agree to UN mediation


Afp February 19, 2019
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres offers to help broker a solution if both sides agree to UN mediation.PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to defuse tensions and offered to help broker a solution if both sides agree to UN mediation.

Pakistan and India have been locked in a diplomatic clash following a suicide attack on February 14 in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) that killed 40 Indian security forces, triggering counter-operations by Indian forces in the area.



"We are deeply concerned at the increasing tensions between the two countries," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

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Guterres "stresses the importance of both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation" while also offering to mediate "should both sides ask", said Dujarric.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi appealed to Guterres to step in to defuse tensions, in a letter.

"It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions," said the letter sent on February 18.

New Delhi claims the attack was carried out by the banned group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Qureshi hit back saying that "attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd."

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