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.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has written a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres drawing his attention to the deteriorating security situation in the region resulting from threat of use of force against Pakistan by India. pic.twitter.com/OslMPFR6UC— PTI Punjab (Official) (@PTIPunjabPK) February 19, 2019
"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."