United Nations: The UN has strongly rejected assertion that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has a “vow of silence” on the issue of Kashmir. “It’s not a vow of silence. We did say something, but that’s where we stand on it right now,” Ban’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said reporters at the daily press briefing on Thursday when asked when the UN Chief will “break his vow of silence” and speak about Kashmir.
Haq said Ban’s stance on the Kashmir issue remains the same and cited a statement that had been issued a few weeks ago on the crisis in the Valley. Ban had said he is closely following the recent clashes in Kashmir, that had broke out in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.
He had called on all parties to “exercise maximum restraint” to avoid further violence and hoped that all concerns would be addressed through “peaceful means”. Earlier this week, Ban’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric had rejected remarks that the Secretary General was reluctant on the issue of Kashmir.
Dujarric was asked at the daily press briefing why the Secretary General did not initiate efforts to settle the Kashmir conflict, even as the world body is trying to resolve conflicts in Cyprus and the Middle East. “I will leave it to you and others to analyse the reasoning. I think the questions on the situation in Kashmir have come up with us today and previously. PTI
US asks Pakistan to act against terror groups targeting neighbours
Washington: In a strong message, the US has asked Pakistan to act against terror groups targeting its neighbours and not just the ones that pose a threat to it, virtually endorsing the stand taken by India at the SAARC ministerial meet. “
We have been very clear with the highest levels of the Government of Pakistan that they must target all militant groups and that includes those that target Pakistan’s neighbours. They must also close all safe havens,” the State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday at his daily briefing.
He said Pakistan was going after terror groups “selectively”. “They’re going after groups, but selectively. We need to see them go after all groups and as I just said, even those groups that might not threaten Pakistan itself but threaten its neighbours,” he said.
“We obviously believe that Pakistan needs to do all it can to confront all terrorists operating on its soil. We have seen it make progress; we want to see more progress on its part,” Toner said when asked about Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Islamabad for the SAARC meeting.
Addressing the SAARC Home Ministers’ meeting in Islamabad, Singh had said mere condemnation of terrorism and terrorists is not enough and that there are “no good terrorists or bad terrorists”, while asking Pakistan to stop encouraging terror groups and “glorification” of terrorists.PTI
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