UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to take "immediate steps" to deescalate tensions. "The Secretary-General stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation, and his good offices are always available should both sides ask," the UN Chief's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Tuesday at the daily press briefing. At least 42 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 80 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district that also left many critically wounded.
More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir.
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Dujarric was asked about a meeting Pakistan's Permanent Mission to the UN has sought with the Secretary General and also about Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying the UN must step in to defuse tensions between the two nations.
"...Looking at the situation in general between India and Pakistan, we're deeply concerned at the increase in tensions between the two countries in the wake of the attack on Indian security personnel on 14 February in Pulwama," Dujrraic said.
He said Pakistan's mission at the UN requested for the meeting with the Secretary-General.
"We have seen press reports of a letter having been delivered to the UN. As far as we've ascertained, none has been received as of this very minute," he added.
Last week, Guterres had "strongly" condemned the terror attack against security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, perpetrated by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, calling for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.
"We strongly condemn today's attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district and express our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and to the government and people of India," Dujarric had said at the daily press briefing last Thursday.