UN urges India, Pakistan to exercise restraint, offers to mediate over Kashmir issue
Ban wants India and Pakistan to resolve their issues, including Kashmir 'peacefully through diplomacy and dialogue.'? Photograph: (AFP)
United Nations secretary-general Ban ki-moon on Friday urged India and Pakistan resolve their differences through diplomacy and dialogue, and even offered to act as a mediator.
He asked both South Asian nations "to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation."
The UN chief's statement comes after Pakistan's envoy Maleeha Lodhi prompted Ban to personally mediate the situation.
Lodhi told AFP "This is a dangerous moment for the region," referring to the recent "surgical strikes" by India on militant launchpads near the Line of Control (LoC), inside Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
"The time has come for bold intervention by him if we are to avoid a crisis, because we can see a crisis building up."
India's mission to the United Nations defended its actions saying "our response was a measured counter-terrorist strike."
"India has no desire to aggravate the situation," and that "it is reflective of our desire to respond proportionately to clear and imminent threat posed by terrorists in that instance. With our objectives having been met that effort has since ceased."
Tensions have been rife between the two neighbours since India's surgical strike on Wednesday, which was in response to the Uri attack on September 18 in which four militants had infiltrated the Indian army base and killed 19 Indian soldiers.
Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman said the secretary-general "would welcome all proposals" or initiatives aimed at de-escalation."
He added that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which looks into ceasefire violations along the LoC, will report to the UN chief on the latest incidents of ceasefire violations.
(WION with inputs from AFP)