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UN chief continually monitoring situation between India and Pakistan: Spokesperson

UN chief Antonio Guterres is “continually” monitoring the situation between India and Pakistan and his office is available to both parties, his spokesperson said.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric was asked if the UN chief had spoken with the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to de-escalate tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours.

“The Secretary General and members of his staff are in touch with the parties at various levels. We continually monitor the situation and [are] available to the parties,” Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric told reporters here Thursday.

Earlier this week, Dujarric had said that the Secretary General had not spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan over the situation between the two nations but had expressed his concern to officials on both sides on the need to de-escalate tensions.

“We’re fully aware of the situation. The Secretary General has had no calls with those two Heads of Government as far as I’m aware, but he’s had contacts with both sides to express, I think, his concern and the need to do as much as anyone can to de-escalate the tensions,” Dujarric had said at the daily press briefing Tuesday.

When asked if the Secretary General is planning to get involved to try and mediate a de-escalation, Dujarric had said last week that “as always”, the Secretary General’s good offices are always “available should both parties or all parties, depending on the situation, agree to do that”.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14.

India launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.

Source: indiatoday.in

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