U.N. Chief Concerned Over Kashmir Situation; Calls For Peace28 July 2010
New York: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the unrest in Kashmir, which exploded last month claiming the lives of seventeen people. “In relation to recent developments in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Secretary-General is concerned over the prevailing security situation there over the past month,” Farhan Haq, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, said in a statement. “He calls on all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and address problems peacefully,” it added. Meanwhile, the Indian government said that it was aware of anti-India elements based in Pakistan provoking the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the support of certain sections of secessionist groups based in the state. Kashmir Valley has been wracked with demonstrations since June 11, which led to the police and military cracking down on protestors. Among the several victims was a 17-year-old boy who died after being hit by a police tear gas shell. The state government announced that a commission would be set up to inquire into the deaths of civilians during the recent protests. The commission will be headed by a retired high court judge and it will look into 17 incidents in which people died since June 11. The government also announced a compensation package of 100,000 rupees and government job to a member of each family. The inquiry commission is expected to report back in three months. The UN chief also welcomes the recent talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan. “He encourages both sides to rekindle the spirit of the composite dialogue, which was initiated in 2004 and had made encouraging progress on some important confidence building measures, and to make renewed efforts to address outstanding issues, including on Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said. “He (Ban) underlines the need for patience, perseverance and compromise on all sides,” it added.