| Updated at: 1057 PST, Thursday, October 07, 2010|
UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, expressing concern over the killings in Indian occupied Kashmir Valley, has again called for an immediate end to violence and has urged for restraint while regretting the loss of life.
More than 110 Kashmiris have been killed in the mass unrest that broke out early June following protests over spate of killings by Indian police.
When at his press conference Wednesday, the UN chief’s attention was drawn to the deteriorating situation in Kashmir and asked whether he was prepared to offer his good-offices to resolve the decades-old dispute since bilateral efforts have failed, Ban said he could only use his good offices when both parties - India and Pakistan - agreed to such a course.
“I regret the latest loss of life. I have been calling for an immediate end to violence and urge calm and restraint by all concerned,” Ban however said.
“That is the position of the United Nations at this time.”
“As far as this role of good offices is concerned, the United Nations normally takes that initiative when requested by both parties concerned,” Ban told journalists during his monthly briefing.
“India and Pakistan, they are neighbouring countries, important nations in that region — peace and security would have important implications,” he said.
Last week, representatives of India and Pakistan had a verbal duel in the UN General Assembly after Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna accused Pakistan of being behind the current unrest in Kashmir.
Pakistan rejected India’s allegation, urging New Delhi to stop its state-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir and grant the Kashmiri people their UN-mandated right to self-determination.
Later both sides cancelled a scheduled meeting after the Pakistani foreign minister said the talks should be made “meaningful” by including the festering dispute over Kashmir on the agenda.