United Nations, Aug 8 United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said India cannot change the status of Jammu and Kashmir and backed Security Council resolutions, of which the main one requires Pakistan to withdraw all its nationals from Kashmir.
His Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said: “The Secretary General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla 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,”Stephane Dujarric said.
The Council’s Resolution 47 adopted on April 21, 1948, said Pakistan should withdraw its nationals from Kashmir before a plebiscite can be held. Pakistan, however, continues to occupy a significant part of Kashmir making a plebiscite impossible.
Since then, India has said a plebiscite was moot because of Pakistan’s continued occupation and because Kashmiris have had their say in state and national elections.
The Secretary General called both the countries to exercise maximum restraint.”The Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region,” the statement said.
The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.”
The Charter also says that UN cannot “intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state”.
The Simla Agreement signed in 1972 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was Pakistan’s President at that time, also said that Kashmir was a bilateral issue, thus ruling out third party intervention.