UN monitoring Kashmir situation

August 14th, 2008 - 10:39 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Aug 14 (IANS) The United Nations is monitoring the situation in Kashmir and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is aware of it, according to a spokesman of the world body. UN human rights officials in Geneva are also aware of it and are “determining whether to make any comment,” associate spokesman Farhan Haq said Wednesday when asked by a a Pakistani correspondent whether the UN is aware that Kashmir is suddenly becoming a ‘hot spot’.

“The Secretary-General is aware of the situation. We are monitoring it,” he said. “We don’t have any extensive comment to make on this at this stage.”

“I believe our human rights colleagues in Geneva are also aware of this and are determining whether to make any comment. I don’t have anything further to say at present,” Haq added.

Taking strong exception to Pakistan’s attempt to internationalise the Kashmir issue, New Delhi has warned Islamabad to desist from such a course of action that is “gratuitous and illegal” and has the potential to harm the peace process between the two countries.

Pakistan Wednesday had urged the international community to press India for “restraint” in the Kashmir Valley, where 20 people, including senior Hurriyat leader Shaikh Abdul Aziz, were killed in police firings early this week during protests over the land transfer to a board that manages the Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva.

For the last two months, both the Hindu-majority Jammu region and the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley have witnessed violence over transfer and subsequent revocation of 40 hectares of land to the Amarnath shrine board.

The burning issue has set off a wave of protests, shutdowns and violence virtually paralysing the strategic border state.

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