Pakistan on Thursday dismissed as ‘inconsequential’ the recent Indian move asking a United Nations observer group on Kashmir to vacate a government provided premises in New Delhi.
“Asking the UN Observers to move out of a building or payment of rent is inconsequential in the context of the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at a weekly news briefing.
“Asking them to move out of the building does not abolish the mandate which was given by the UN Security Council in 1951 under Resolution 91. As long as the Kashmir dispute is not resolved, the UN Security Council mandate remains.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian foreign ministry said the government had asked UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to hand over the premises in Delhi from where it was running a liaison office for more than four decades for free as part of efforts to rationalise the mission’s presence in India.
The small UN mission has its main offices in the Kashmir’s capital Srinagar on the Indian side and in Islamabad as part of a UN Security Council resolution to supervise the ceasefire in the divided region.
New Delhi has argued that the UN had little role to play after India and Pakistan signed the Simla Pact in 1972 under which the two countries agreed to resolve all disputes including Kashmir bilaterally. But Tasnim rejected the Indian claims saying “we don’t accept Kashmir’s so-called accession to India.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2014.