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‘Following situation with great concern’: UN on rising India-Pak tensions at LoC

United Nations military observers are in contact with India and Pakistan over “ceasefire violations” across the Line of Control in Kashmir and secretary general Ban Ki-moon has “great concern” over the rising tension, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

Briefing reporters, the spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said, “The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) is aware of the reports of ceasefire violations, and right now is liaising with the concerned authorities to obtain further information.”

“We are obviously following the situation with great concern, concerning the increase of tensions across the Line of Control,” he said.

India has said that it carried out surgical strikes against terrorist launchpads across the LOC in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Thursday.

The action followed the terrorist attack from there on an Indian Army base 11 days ago in Uri in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Pakistan has officially denied there was any incursion by Indian forces into territory held by it, but said that there was shelling across the LOC and two of its soldiers were killed.

Dujarric added, “The United Nations calls on the governments of India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and encourages them to continue the effort to resolve their differences peacefully and through dialogue.”

UNMOGIP, set up in 1949 to supervise the cease-fire between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, is headed by Major General Per Gustaf Lodin of Sweden and has 41 military observers drawn from ten countries.

New Delhi has said that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility as India and Pakistan acknowledged in the 1972 Simla Agreement that the dispute is a bilateral issue.

Islamabad, however, continues to try to internationalise the issue and seeks external intervention.

IANS

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