Guterres on Kashmir Dispute

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THE United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on nuclear-armed India and Pakistan to come together and seriously discuss their problems stemming from the unresolved Kashmir dispute, saying his good offices were always available for mediation. Addressing a news conference, the UN chief warned there is no military solution to the decades-old conflict.

The mediation offer on the part of the UN Secretary General is nothing new. In the past also he has made similar comments which were welcomed by Pakistan but India as usual demonstrated the intransigence as it is not interested in resolving the lingering dispute. Apart from making calls for mediation, the United Nations has a responsibility by virtue of the Security Council Resolutions to resolve the dispute. It is lamentable that resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, which promise Kashmiris their right to self-determination in accordance with their wishes and aspirations, remain unimplemented. It will not be wrong to say that the world body has completely failed on this issue. The people of East Timor and South Sudan were given the right to self-determination but the same has been denied to the Kashmiris mainly because they are Muslims. Such a stark discrimination will only further divide the world and take the matters towards the worst. The need of UN intervention in Kashmir is greater today than ever before as Modi-led Indian government has broken all records of atrocities and oppression in the occupied territory. Since August 2019, a military siege has been laid in the valley with all sorts of restrictions including communication blackout imposed there. Kashmiri leadership has been incarcerated to choke the dissenting voices. The UN has a responsibility to act now to save the innocent Kashmiri people from cruel clutches. Apart from sending a fact finding mission to the occupied territory to record the human rights abuses, the world body should work towards implementing its resolutions on Kashmir.