All parties should refrain from steps that could affect IOK’s status: UN chief

All parties should refrain from steps that could affect IOK’s status: UN chief

New York (Agencies): The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for all parties and stakeholders to refrain from taking such steps that could affect Indian Occupied Kashmir’s status.

UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric in a statement said that Guterres "has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint".

Dujarric reiterated that the UN's position on the Muslim-majority Himalayan region was governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Guterres further recalled "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", the spokesperson noted.

"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 Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir," Dujarric added.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has welcomed the statement given by the UN Secretary General on Kashmir dispute.

In her tweet on Friday, she said it accepts Pakistan's long standing position that Kashmir is a disputed territory and this dispute can only be solved according to UN resolutions. She said this is a diplomatic victory of Pakistan.