Editorial: UN Chief can help

Srinagar: At a time when India and Pakistan have opened up their canons along the International border and the Line of Control in Jammu region, a statement by United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres has spelled a fresh ray of hope after he expressed his views on resolving the vexed Kashmir issue.

Though the UN chief has ruled out any mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue-unless all parties agree to it and asked India and Pakistan to address their outstanding issues through dialogue, the statement can be a new beginning for both the countries to help put back the dialogue process on rails. The two countries which have not been able to sustain a dialogue process for long is a concern for all and sundry.

The UN Secretary-General has said that in principle good offices of the UN chief are always available for mediation, but everyone needs to agree on involving the world body. Though the world body is aware about the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan due to ongoing skirmishes and firing along the border, a stalled dialogue process between the two countries is not helping their case.

The LoC that divides India and Pakistanis witnessing a situation that is telling upon both the countries and both the countries are not willing to admit the miseries the people living in the forward areas are facing. The human loss concerns no nation at all. The stance of both the countries seems evident. No one wishes to move an extra yard and get things on track.

What is ironic is that any move by the two warring countries in trying to ease out the situation on the frontier is not been responded by the other. After the fresh spree of killings during the past two weeks, both the countries have not tried to resolve the crisis.

The crisis that has arisen needs to be dealt with immediately as it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of the hostilities. Both the countries need to realize that confidence building measures need to be announced immediately to stop this bloodshed.

However, the need for initiating confidence-building measures should be pursued by some external forces like the United Nations. Though the statement by the UN Chief can be termed as ice breaking, but it needs to be taken forward.

The issues are critical in nature and once some CBM’s start rolling things are likely to get better. But for the time being both nations should waste no time for letting the hostilities take a back stage.

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