By Arul Louis
United Nations– UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday ruled out any direct involvement in resolving the Kashmir issue unless both India and Pakistan agreed to it.
At a news conference here, he said that his capacity for helping resolve the situation “is related to good offices and good offices can only be implemented when the parties accept it.”
His statement was in line with India’s position that Kashmir is a bilateral matter under the terms of the Simla Agreement of 1972.
But Guterres said that he will continue to advocate for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
He was answering a question from a Pakistani journalist on what he could do to resolve the Kashmir dispute and about his reaction to the clampdown in Kashmir after India rescinded its special constitutional status last month.
“I go on with a clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory,” he said.
He said his capacity to find a solution to the India-Pakistan dispute “relates to advocacy.”
“Advocacy was expressed and will be maintained” on the issue, he said.
“I go on with the clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolutely essential element for the solution of the problem,” he added. (IANS)