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All parties should refrain from steps that could affect occupied Kashmir’s status: UN boss

NEW YORK: The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for all parties and stakeholders in the occupied Kashmir issue “to refrain from taking steps that could affect” the disputed region’s status, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

The spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement said UN boss Guterres “has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint”.

Dujarric reiterated that the UN’s position on the Muslim-majority Himalayan region was governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Guterres further recalled “the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”, the spokesperson noted.

“The Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian-side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation in the region.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” Dujarric added.

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