Pakistan Asks UN to Help Sort India Dispute Amid Clashes
By Ketaki Gokhale Oct 12, 2014 12:31 PM MT
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pakistan said the UN has an important role to play in promoting a “peaceful resolution of all issues between India and Pakistan, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” according to a copy distributed by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry yesterday. India didn’t immediately respond.
Both sides blame each other for tit-for-tat gun and mortar fire last week that killed at least 16 people, including civilians, in the disputed region of Kashmir. Fighting resumed over the weekend after pausing briefly in the wake of Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai sharing the peace award on Oct. 10.
Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors have deteriorated since May, when Pakistan leaderNawaz Sharif attended Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration. India scrapped formal talks with Pakistan in August after one of its diplomats met with Kashmiri separatists.
The letter from Pakistan’s national security adviser Sartaj Aziz blames India for the “deteriorating” security situation along the India-Pakistan border and in Jammu and Kashmir. The letter says there have been 20 cease-fire violations and 22 boundary violations between Oct. 1 and Oct. 20, resulting in 12 civilian deaths, 52 injured civilians and 9 injured military personnel on the Pakistani side.
Modi last week said India’s army had taught Pakistan “a befitting lesson” during a week of fighting that also killed four Indians, Press Trust of India reported. Sharif sought to cool tensions after a meeting with the chiefs of armed forces and security advisers, saying that “war is not an option.”
The two nations have fought three of their four wars since partition in 1947 over Kashmir, which is divided between them and claimed in full by both. Since 1988, more than 14,000 Indian civilians and 6,000 security personnel have been killed in violence, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which doesn’t have similar figures for Pakistani deaths.
Civilian casualties fell every year from 2001 until 2012, when 16 people were killed. In 2013, that number increased to 20, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which doesn’t keep track of Pakistani casualties. So far, 15 Indian civilians have been killed this year. Since 1988, more than 14,000 Indian civilians and 6,000 security personnel have been killed in violence along the border.