U.N. Chief Ban Calls For Calm, Restraint In Kashmir22 September 2010
New York: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for restraint in disputed Kashmir, which is facing its biggest independence uprising in over 20 years, the United Nations said on Wednesday. 'He called for calm and restraint among all concerned,' U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters. On Tuesday, Nesirky said Ban 'regrets the latest loss of life ... (and) calls for an immediate end to violence and urges calm and restraint by all concerned.' More than 100 people have died in the protests since June. Muslim-majority Kashmir, a region at the core of a long-running dispute between India and Pakistan, has been thrown out of gear by strikes and curfews. Schools, colleges and businesses remain shut. Food and medicine are scarce. In late July, a U.N. spokesman told several Pakistani reporters based at the United Nations that Ban was 'concerned over the prevailing security situation' and called for restraint. That elicited a strong protest from India, a politically powerful developing country and one of the top contributors of troops to U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world. Nesirky later said the 'media guidance' on Kashmir issued by his office had been taken out of context, but he did not elaborate.