Kashmir Should Be Resolved: UN Chief

Kashmir Should Be Resolved: UN Chief

27 April 2012
Greater Kashmir


New Delhi: Advocating peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday said the “will” of the people there must be respected while finding any solution. “I hope this issue (Kashmir) is addressed peacefully without violence and respecting wills of the people there,” Ban said at a press conference here when asked about the UN position on Kashmir. He said it (Kashmir) should be resolved “without resorting to any violence and fully respecting the human rights sentiments there.” Welcoming the Indo-Pak efforts to improve their bilateral relations, UN Secretary General said the two countries should persist with their efforts to resolve outstanding issues. “I am pleased with the continued efforts to improve the relations between India and Pakistan. This has a broader significance for the region and for global peace. I realize there are many outstanding issues but I encourage leaders of both the countries to persist with these efforts,” he said. Ban held comprehensive discussions on the issue of counter-terrorism in his meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during which India raised its concerns over terrorism in the Af-Pak region. Asserting that terrorism cannot be justified by any reason, the UN Secretary General made a strong pitch for bringing the perpetrators of 26-11 Mumbai terror attack to book “as soon as possible' and noted that the government of India and Pakistan were making efforts to do so. Noting that the international community has been experiencing and suffering from many terror threats, the UN Secretary General said India has also been a victim, particularly during Mumbai terror attacks. “I hope and wish that all perpetrators of this crime, the terrorists, should be brought to justice as soon as possible. I understand that India and Pakistan government have been discussing this matter very seriously as to how this matter could be brought to a close,” he said, adding “for better and improved relationship, this is important.” “Terrorism cannot be justified under any circumstances, for any justification and for any reason. It should be eliminated and stopped,” Ban said, adding the global body has been making efforts to prevent and fight international terrorism. Earlier speaking at a function at Jamia Millia Islamia University here, Ban said that despite the challenges involved he trusted India to build and strengthen partnerships with her neighbours and saw a 'future of steadily warmer ties' in this region. “I believe India will also find the way to build and strengthen partnerships of common ground with your neighbours. I know there are many challenges, but I see a future of steadily warmer ties built on a shared heritage and a common future,” Ban said at a function where he was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at Jamia Millia Islamia here. He did not name Pakistan or any other country. Ban said he saw India as a “regional and global force” and would like to encourage it to advance causes of peace and security and 'deepening South-South cooperation.' Admiring the country for its contribution to the UN peacekeeping force, Ban Ki-moon said, “As the world's third largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping - you are the backbone of our efforts to prevent further conflict and keep peace worldwide.” “But beyond that, something else stands out. India is a union of cultures, religions, languages all coming together within the fabric of tolerance, understanding and collaboration.” Ban Ki-moon is on a three-day visit to India during which he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He will Saturday also visit Mumbai, where he will inspect some UN development projects in the city. The UN secretary general also lauded the 92-year-old varsity: “Jamia Millia Islamia University richly encapsulates the best of the Indian Muslim tradition reflecting a true cosmopolitan creed.” The eighth secretary-general of the United Nations was given the Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree at an impressive ceremony at the M.A. Ansari Auditorium by Chancellor M.A. Zaki and Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung for his contribution to development and world peace. The event was attended by his wife, the academic community and diplomats.