UN chief urges to restrain after clashes in Kashmir

Ban Ki-moon expressed a 'serious concern' over escalated violence on India-Pakistan border

UN chief urges to restrain after clashes in Kashmir

World Bulletin / News Desk

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged India and Pakistan to show restraint following clashes in the disputed region of Kashmir that have caused deaths on both sides.

"(Ban) expresses serious concern about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, which reportedly resulted in a number of casualties on both sides, including civilians," the UN press office said in a statement.

Ban said an upcoming meeting of the countries' security chiefs on August 23-24 in New Delhi could help bolster dialogue between the two countries, which have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir.

On Sunday clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops along the border intensified killing at least eight people and wounding 14.

In the latest violence, a policeman and a civilian were killed Tuesday when suspected rebels opened fire outside Tujjar Sharif, northwest of Srinagar in India-occupied Kashmir, police said.

Ban urged both India and Pakistan "to exercise maximum restraint and take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians."

The ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Indian-occupied Kashmir blamed the uptick in violence on elements across the border in Pakistan.

"This is not a peaceful border, there are often clashes there ...there are people on the other side [Pakistan-administered Kashmir] that don't want us to succeed with our mandate of peace," Waheed-Ur-Rehman, a youth leader and spokesperson of the PDP, said.

But following the clashes on Sunday, in which one civilian was killed and four others injured in areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the Pakistan army said in a statement that India "had started unprovoked firing in the afternoon ... Pakistani troops fittingly responding to Indian firing."

 

"Armed Forces Special Powers Act" issue

PDP's state government of India-occupied Kashmir has been under great pressure to abolish a highly contraversial special law, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives immunity to Indian armed forces in disputed region.

Rehman of PDP said that revoking the law "was a process that would take time".

In July, human-rights group Amnesty International released a report documenting the obstacles to justice faced in several cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian army in Kashmir.

The group noted that their research "has repeatedly uncovered patterns of impunity, including unlawful government orders to the police not to register complaints of human rights violations against the security forces".

"We are handling the issue of AFSPA sensitively; we don't want to create a situation where forces are embarressed but certainly AFSPA has lost its moral legitimacy in Kashmir," Rehman said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ağustos 2015, 12:43
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