Budgetary season: India asks UN observer group to vacate govt office

Says UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan's role has outlived mandate, overtaken by Simla Agreement.


Aditi Phadnis July 09, 2014

NEW DELHI: Relations between India and Pakistan may be thawing but India believes the United Nations has to pay to ‘observe’ relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The UN observer mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan is identifying possible alternative locations for its office in India after it was asked by the Indian government to vacate its current premises in New Delhi.

The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) had been allotted a government bungalow on the Purana Qila Road in New Delhi 40 years ago, free of charge.

The new Indian government, however, has asked the mission to vacate the government bungalow to "rationalise" the presence of the group which the government said has "outlived its relevance".

"UNMOGIP has received the Indian Government's request to vacate the premises that it is using in New Delhi. The mission is currently conducting a market survey to assess costs and identify possible alternative locations."

Spokesperson of the Indian External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said that it has been India's "consistent and long- standing view that UNMOGIP has outlived its mandate".

The Indian position on the group has been that UNMOGIP's role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

Akbaruddin further said that the government is in budgetary season and "everybody is tightening their belts." He added that "rationalisation means that you pay for what you get."

UNMOGIP observers have been located at the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since 1949 and supervise the truce between the two neighbours.

As of May, UNMOGIP has 40 military observers, 23 international civilian personnel and 45 local civilian staff. The observer group is financed by the UN regular budget and appropriations for biennium 2014-2015 are stated to be $19.64 million.

Meanwhile, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric was on Tuesday asked at a daily briefing whether the decision to close down the UNMOGIP office has implications on the Kashmir issue.

"Definitely, I agree with what you just said," was her reply.

COMMENTS (7)

Testing testing! | 7 years ago | Reply

India just "testing"...If Pak stand has changed over time for some unknown reason!

IndoPak | 7 years ago | Reply So it's proven, we are today where we were the day UN placed its observer. If nothing is "solved or sorted out" then how come the UN observer "Outlived" it's mandate?
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