UN chief urges Pakistan, India to resolve Kashmir issue through dialogue

Berlin, Germany - November 04: Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees of UNHCR, attends a press conference in german foreign office on November 04, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged India and Pakistan to resolve the occupied Kashmir dispute through dialogue.

Addressing a presser in New York, UN Secretary-General Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Guterres had repeatedly met with Pakistan and Indian officials in recent weeks in a bid to calm tension between the nuclear-armed powers.

He said the UN secretary-general remains very concerned about any potential escalation between India and Pakistan over the situation.

Guterres appealed to both India and Pakistan to deal with the issue through dialogue and as the situation in occupied Kashmir can only be solved with the full respect of human rights.

Earlier, Guterres had said he was monitoring the worsening situation in the valley, especially reports about tightening restrictions and mass arrests, as he called for steps to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan.

“We obviously continue to follow the situation very closely in Jammu and Kashmir, [and] also reports of restrictions and detentions in the Indian-administered side of the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir,” spokesman Dujarric said.

“The secretary-general reiterates what he has been saying both publicly and privately to India and Pakistan to their leaders to exercise restraint and to take whatever steps they can to defuse tensions,” he added.