Dialogue between India, Pak 'essential element' to resolve dispute: UN Chief

New York: United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an "absolutely essential element" for resolving the Kashmir dispute, while adding that his "good officers" are available for the same if the two neighboring countries ask for it.

Responding to a question regarding the lockdown in the region following the abrogation of Article 370, Guterres said, "Well, our capacity is related to good offices, and good offices can only be implemented when the parties accept it. And, on the other hand, it relates to advocacy, and the advocacy was expressed and will be maintained."

"I go on with a clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory, and I go on with the clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolutely essential element for the solution of the problem," he added.

Guterres's statement came ahead of the UN General Assembly session where Pakistan has said that it would raise the issue of Kashmir. The country is rattled by the Indian government's move to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

India has maintained that the move on Kashmir is its "internal matter" - a stance that has been supported by a number of countries in the world, including the SAARC countries.


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