Ban Ki Moon Rules Out UN Intervention In Kashmir

3 November 2008
The Hindu

United Nations: Ruling out any United Nations intervention in Kashmir unless both India and Pakistan approached the world body, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Monday hoped the two South Asian neighbours would be able to find a solution to it through dialogue in a peaceful manner. 'If and when both parties (India and Pakistan) to this issue (Kashmir) request ... ask me to provide my good offices, I am willing to do that,' Ban told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on his return from his four-nation tour of Philippines, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Given India's known stand on this issue, this is unlikely to happen. New Delhi has always opposed any international intervention on the Kashmir issue. 'But as you know, good offices (of the UN Secretary General) are available when and whenever there is some agreed requests from both parties,' Ban said in response to a specific question from a Pakistani journalist if the Secretary General was willing to offer his good offices to find a solution to the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. Referring to his meeting with Indian leaders while he was in New Delhi last week, Ban said he did discuss the Kashmir issue with them. He said he urged the Indian leaders to continue their composite dialogue with Pakistan. 'The recent summit meeting between President (Asif Ali Zardari) of Pakistan and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York provided a very good opportunity in breakthrough in their current relationship,' Ban said. The two leaders had met in New York on the sidelines of the 63rd session of UN General Assembly meeting in September, wherein India and Pakistan agreed on a number of confidence building measures. He said trade between India and Pakistan has now opened up and exchanges are continuing. 'Through gradual progress in this area I am sure that they will be able to resolve this Kashmir issue through dialogue in a peaceful manner,' Ban said.