UN chief asks India, Pak to de-escalate tension ‘My good offices are available if asked by both sides’

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions following the Pulwama militants attack, reiterating that his good offices are available if asked by both sides.

The already sour relations between India and Pakistan have worsened over the past week as New Delhi blamed Islamabad for the Pulwama suicide attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Both countries have called back their envoys for “consultations.”

“The Secretary General stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation, and his good offices are always available should both sides ask,” the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Tuesday at the daily press briefing.

Dujarric was asked about a meeting Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN has sought with the Secretary General and also about Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying the UN must step in to defuse tensions between the two nations.
“…Looking at the situation in general between India and Pakistan, we’re deeply concerned at the increase in tensions between the two countries in the wake of the attack on Indian security personnel on 14 February in Pulwama,” Dujrraic said.
He said Pakistan’s mission at the UN requested for the meeting with the Secretary General.
“We’ve seen press reports of a letter having been delivered to the UN. As far as we’ve ascertained, none has been received as of this very minute,” he added.