SRINAGAR: Volkan Bozkir, the United Nations General Assembly President has said that the status of Jammu and Kashmir should not be changed. He, however, has acknowledged the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan that makes it a bilateral issue.
Bozkir was supposed to visit India but has cancelled the trip because of the prevailing situation in the country. A Turkish diplomat and politician, he is serving as the President of the United Nations General Assembly since June 17, 2020, the first-ever Turk to hold this position.
“I call on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir,” Volkan Bozkir was quoted saying by the news agency IANS at a news conference t a UN headquarters. “I support dialogue and diplomacy, and I encourage both Pakistan and India, neighbours, to resolve this dispute through peaceful means.”
While answering a reporter’s question about Kashmir, he said that he would repeat the statement he made last August about it at a news conference when he visited Pakistan as the president-elect.
Chandigarh-based newspaper Tribune reported the high official telling a reporter; “The position of the United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir is governed by the UN Charter and applicable Security Council resolutions. And I also recall 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…So there again, I mentioned that I call on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Bozkir did not mention either country but asked “all parties” to refrain from changing the status of Kashmir.
In the last few years, both India and Pakistan have changed or attempted to change Jammu and Kashmir. “While India abrogated in 2019 the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution giving Kashmir a special status, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced last year that he would make the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Jammu and Kashmir under its occupation a province of Pakistan.”