United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to take “immediate steps” to de-escalate tension that rose after 40 Indian security personnel were killed in a terrorist attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama.
“The Secretary General stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation, and his good offices are always available should both sides ask,” the UN Chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Tuesday.
“…Looking at the situation in general between India and Pakistan, we’re deeply concerned at the increase in tensions between the two countries in the wake of the attack on Indian security personnel on 14 February in Pulwama,” Dujrraic said.
“We have seen press reports of a letter having been delivered to the UN. As far as we’ve ascertained, none has been received as of this very minute,” he added.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had appealed to Guterres to step in to defuse tensions, in a letter seen by AFP.
“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” said the letter sent on Monday.
International bodies have responded to the flare-up of tensions. France, Britain, and the United States have been considering a new push at the UN Security Council to place the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) — Masood Azhar — on the UN terror list, but have faced opposition from China, diplomats said.
“We strongly condemn today’s attack in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pulwama district and express our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and to the government and people of India,” Dujarric had said at the daily press briefing last Thursday.