Amid the weakening relation between India and Pakistan after India scrapped Articke 370 providing special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged India and Pakistan to exercise "maximum restraint". He also urged the two neighbouring countries to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir while highlighting the Shimla Agreement which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.
On Monday, India not only revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Pakistan termed the Indian action as "unilateral and illegal", and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council, claiming that Kashmir is an international issue.
"The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint," Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Dujarric specifically said that the Secretary-General " recalled the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Shimla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means" in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The Secretary General did not offer his good offices nor did he make any offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
Guterres also called "on all parties to refrain from taking steps" that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the position of the United Nations on the region was governed by the Charter of the United Nations and is applicable to Security Council resolutions. When asked to be more specific about reference to the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir in the statement, Dujarric said "I'm not going to go into any more specifics of the statement which also refers to our concern" about reports of restrictions in Kashmir in India. "So I'll refer you to the statement," he said.
Dujarric reiterated that Guterres and the UN Secretariat were following the situation "very closely". He said there had been contacts from the UN Secretariat both with the Indian and Pakistani authorities and with the Permanent Missions of India and Pakistan. He said there is no plan for the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on Kashmir.
The Narendra Modi government on August 5 revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Both the upper house and the lower house of the Parliament approved the resolution abrogating Article 370 for J&K and a bill to bifurcate the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, with Home Minister Amit Shah saying the controversial provisions were responsible for poverty and lack of development in the state. Ministry of External Affairs also briefed the envoys of the P5 nations -- the US, the UK, China, France and Russia -- about Indian government's decision to scrap Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
After normalcy has been restored in Kashmir, a panicky and isolated Pakistan has expelled Indian envoy Ajay Bisaria from the country. As per sources, Pakistan has also decided to not send its High Commissioner-designate who was supposed to take charge in August. In a series of other moves by the neighbouring country, it has decided to downgrade ties with India. It has also decided to suspend bilateral trade with India and review all bilateral arrangements with India. Pakistan has also said that it will take India's internal matter of Kashmir to United Nations, including the Security Council. It has also decided to observe 14 August, its Independence Day in solidarity with 'Kashmiris'. and declared August 15, India's Independence as 'Black Day'. It has on Thursday decided to stop Samjhauta Express - a train service between India's Attari and Pakistan's Lahore.
Addressing the nation first time after abrogation of the Artile 370, PM Modi said that the Centre is working to bring maximum development in Jammua nd Kashmir and Ladhakh that has been ignored for decades. He reiterated the determination to remove terror from J&K. He attacked the 'status quo' mindset of the people that made them think that nothing would change even with time.
"Jammu and Kashmir was least benefitted by Article 370. In fact, Article 370 and 35A forced the state to be involved in corruption, dynastic politics, and sponsored terrorism and all this was carried on by Pakistan through certain agents in India, who worked for personal gains. 42,000 innocent people have lost their lives until now, and it would bring tears to anyone's eyes", he said.