New Delhi rules out UN Secy mediating between India, Pak

New Delhi rules out UN Secy mediating between India, Pak

New Delhi rules out UN Secy mediating between India, Pak

India has ruled out the possibility of the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, playing any role in resolving its disputes with Pakistan.

Two days after Guterres indicated that his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister M Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan had been aimed at encouraging the two neighbours to restart stalled dialogue, New Delhi pointed it out, politely but firmly, that the UN Secretary General had no role to play in settling its differences with Islamabad.

“Bilateral matters between India and Pakistan are to be decided bilaterally and the United Nations Secretary General has made aware of this position (of India),” Gopal Baglay, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

He was responding to a query on New Delhi’s view on the comment by Guterres, who indicated that he had met Modi twice and Sharif thrice to help de-escalate tension between India and Pakistan.

Guterres, who took over as UN Secretary General in January, was holding a news conference at the headquarters of the international organisation in New York on Tuesday when a journalist asked him if he was engaged in bringing about a dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the dispute over Kashmir.

“Why do you think I met three times the Prime Minister of Pakistan and two times the Prime Minister of India?” the UN Secretary General counter questioned while responding to the query by the journalist.

Sources told DH that prime minister, himself, had conveyed to UN Secretary General New Delhi’s position that all disputes between India and Pakistan must be resolved through bilateral talks between the two governments, without any role of any third party.

New Delhi maintains that the Simla Agreement in 1972 signed by Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the then Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, had left no scope for any third party to get involved in the process to resolve the disputes between the two nations.