'Hopeful' That Dialogue Can Happen Between Two Countries: UN On India-Pak War Of Words28 September 2021
United Nations: Despite the 'tone and the content' of the strong remarks made by India and Pakistan against each other during the UN General Assembly session, 'we always remain hopeful' that dialogue between the two nations can happen in a place away from the 'spotlights', a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. India slammed Pakistan at the UN after Prime Minister Imran Khan raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in his address to the 76the UN General Assembly session on Friday. 'We heard the remarks, and I think, despite the tone and the content of the remarks, we always remain hopeful that dialogue can happen, maybe in a place that is not under the spotlights,' Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at the daily press briefing on Monday. Dujarric was responding to a question that in the wake of the heated exchanges witnessed in the Rights of Reply by India and Pakistan during the high level UN General Assembly session last week, is the UN concerned about peace in the region and whether the Secretary-General plans to speak to leaders of the two countries. While Dujarric did not elaborate further, his comment on dialogue happening away from the 'spotlights' appeared to refer to back-channels talks between the two countries. India had slammed Pakistan at the UN after Prime Minister Imran Khan raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly session Friday. Exercising the Right of Reply, First Secretary Sneha Dubey said in the UN General Assembly that Pakistan, where terrorists enjoy free pass, is an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter, and the entire world has suffered because of its policies as the country nurtures terrorists in its backyard. 'We exercise our Right of Reply to one more attempt by the leader of Pakistan to tarnish the image of this august Forum by bringing in matters internal to my country, and going so far as to spew falsehoods on the world stage,' Dubey had said. 'While such statements deserve our collective contempt and sympathy for the mindset of the person who utters falsehood repeatedly, I am taking the floor to set the record straight,' the young Indian diplomat had said, slamming the Pakistani leader for raking up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in his UNGA address. 'We keep hearing that Pakistan is a 'victim of terrorism'. This is the country which is an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter. Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their backyard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbours. Our region, and in fact the entire world, has suffered because of their policies. On the other hand, they are trying to cover up sectarian violence in their country as acts of terror,' Dubey had said. Khan in his address had spoken about the August 5, 2019 decision of the Indian government on the abrogation of Article 370 as well as the death of pro-Pakistan leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Pakistan too had then exercised its Right of Reply to the remarks made by Dubey. Khan and other Pakistani leaders and diplomats have consistently raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and other internal matters of India in their addresses to the UN General Assembly and other forums of the world organisation. Pakistan's attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue have gained no traction from the international community and the Member States, who maintain that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between the two countries.