UN chief concerned about situation in Kashmir: Spokesperson

United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres is “very concerned” over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and wants all member states to protect their civilians, his spokesperson has said.

His remarks came after Indian security forces on Sunday gunned down 13 militants in three counter-insurgency operations that also claimed the lives of three Army jawans and four civilians in Anantnag and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Secretary-General is, indeed, very concerned about the situation that we’ve seen in Jammu and Kashmir. He reminds that Member States are responsible under international humanitarian law to protect civilians,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters here at his daily press briefing yesterday.

He said the Secretary-General reiterated his call on nations to find ways to address disputes in a peaceful manner.

He added that civilians need to be protected wherever they are, “whether it’s in Gaza, whether it’s in Jammu and Kashmir, or whether it’s in Yemen. It’s a basic principle of this organisation.”

When asked if the Secretary General is calling for an investigation into the matter, Dujarric said “any loss of civilians needs to be investigated wherever they occur”.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council’s President for the month of April Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra of Peru said the Council had no plans to discuss the situation in Kashmir.

This is an important topic but at this time there is no consensus in order to address it. So for the time being, we don’t have anything planned on the program, we haven’t scheduled a discussion on that topic for the time being,” Meza-Cuadra, Peru’s Permanent Representative to the UN, told reporters here yesterday.

He was asked by a Pakistani journalist whether the Council, under Peru’s Presidency, will discuss the ongoing situation in Kashmir.PTI

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