UN Secretary General expresses concern over situation in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concerns over the situation in Kashmir, calling for a ‘positive dialogue’ for peaceful settlement of the issue.

“I remain concerned by the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and I encourage positive dialogue for disagreements to be resolved peacefully,” he said in New York ahead of his visit to India.

The first-ever UN report on alleged rights violations committed by India in Kashmir released last month accuses Indian troops of being responsible for an estimated 145 unlawful killings, far surpassing the 20 people estimated to have been killed by militant groups during that period.

“Indian authorities had dismissed the report as fallacious, tendentious and motivated without examining it and responding to the very serious concerns about the human rights situation,” a UN press release noted. “We have been deeply disappointed by the reaction of the Indian authorities.”

The UN chief will be in India from October 1-3 during which he will meet with President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Minister Sushma Swaraj. His visit coincides with the beginning of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on October 2. (PTK)