Guterres called on India and Pakistan to de-escalate, both militarily and verbally
During a visit to Pakistan, Guterres had offered his offices and was ready to help if both countries agree for mediation.
He also expressed deep concern and called on India and Pakistan to de-escalate, both militarily and verbally.
In response to the offer, the official spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday said there was no scope for third party mediation regarding the Kashmir issue.
Guterres had made the offer a day earlier in #Islamabad while speaking at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister #ShahMahmoodQureshi. The #UN chief had called for resolution to the #Kashmir issue by honouring #UNSC resolutions. pic.twitter.com/PPSWfdhT4A— NooriBadat (@NooriBadat) February 17, 2020
“The issue of [Jammu and Kashmir] that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan. Further issues, if any, would be discussed bilaterally. There is no role or scope for third party mediation,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said India hopes that Guterres would emphasize on the imperative for Pakistan to take credible, sustained and irreversible action to put an end to cross-border terrorism against India, reports the Hindu.
The UN Secretary-General has offered several times to mediate on the issue.
Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, has been divided with Pakistan since independence in 1947, and has been the spark of two wars and numerous flare-ups between the two nuclear-armed foes.
An anti-India insurgency in the part of Kashmir that India administers - it has several hundred thousand troops there - has left tens of thousands of people dead over the past 30 years, most of them civilians.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and statehood, creating two federal territories on August 5, last year.
The order revoked Article 370 of India's constitution, which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except for defense, communications and foreign affairs.
The article also forbids Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing educational scholarships.