United Nations: Days after India termed comments by UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir in Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir as "misleading and prejudiced, a spokesperson for the head of the 193-member UN body said it is regrettable that his remarks were taken out of context.
Bozkir had visited Bangladesh and Pakistan late last month and at a press conference in Islamabad with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said it was "Pakistan's duty to bring the issue of the Jammu and Kashmir more strongly to the UN.
In a strong reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said Bozkir's remarks are unacceptable and his reference to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is unwarranted.
When an incumbent President of the UN General Assembly makes misleading and prejudiced remarks, he does a great disservice to the office he occupies. The President of the UN General Assembly's behaviour is truly regrettable and surely diminishes his standing on the global platform, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said last week in response to a media query on the issue.
In a press briefing at the UN Headquarters Tuesday, Deputy Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly Amy Quantrill said that during his visit to Pakistan, Bozkir had said that peace, stability, and prosperity in the South Asian region hinges on normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India and that this normalisation is in turn subject to the two countries finding a resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
She said during his joint press engagement with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, the "President had also recalled India and Pakistan's Simla Agreement of 1972, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the UN Charter.
Against this background, the President was saddened to see a press statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, which portrays his remarks on Jammu and Kashmir from a selective perspective, while they are consistent with the longstanding UN position regarding this issue.
It is regrettable that the President's remarks were taken out of context, Quantrill said.
"The President continues to support dialogue and diplomacy and encourage both Pakistan and India to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue through peaceful means, she said.
Expressing strong opposition to the unwarranted references made with respect to the Indian Union Territory of J-K by Bozkir in Pakistan, Bagchi had said his remarks that Pakistan is duty bound to raise this issue in the UN more strongly are unacceptable. Nor indeed is there any basis for comparison to other global situations.
Bozkir had visited Pakistan on May 26-27 at the invitation of Qureshi.
Pakistan has been making concerted efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue and stepped up an anti-India campaign on the issue following New Delhi's decision to withdraw special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two union territories in August 2019.
India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.