Frustrated India irked over UN Secretary General statement in Pakistan

Frustrated India irked over UN Secretary General statement in Pakistan

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday rejected an offer of mediation proposed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Kashmir, saying the focus instead should be on getting vacated the territories that are "illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan".

"India`s position has not changed. Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will continue to be an integral part of India.

The issue that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan.

Further issues, if any, would be discussed bilaterally.

There is no role or scope for third party mediation," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a media query regarding comments made by Guterres in Islamabad.

"We hope the UN Secretary-General would emphasise on the imperative for Pakistan to take a credible, sustained and irreversible action to put an end to cross-border terrorism against India, which threatens the most fundamental human right - the right to life, of the people of India, including in J&K," he added.

The UN chief, who arrived in Pakistan on a four-day visit, addressed a press conference along with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, wherein he also expressed his "deep concern" over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and tensions along the Line of Control (LoC).

Guterres also said that it was important for India and Pakistan to de-escalate "militarily and verbally" and exercise "maximum restraint", amidst tense relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.