United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked India and Pakistan to exercise 'maximum restraint' in the wake of increased tensions along the Line of Control and hoped that talks between the National Security Advisors of both sides will result in a 'positive outcome.'
"The Secretary-General calls upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians," Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson here yesterday.
Ban reiterated his call for both nations to address their differences through dialogue. Welcoming the upcoming NSA-level talks between the two countries, the UN chief expressed hope that the meeting will lead to a positive result.
"The Secretary-General urges both countries to continue to address their differences through dialogue. In that regard, he welcomes the planned meeting between their respective NSAs on 23-24 August, and expresses the hope that it will lead to positive outcomes," the statement said.
The UN Chief also expressed "serious concern" about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, that resulted in a number of casualties on both sides, including civilians. He conveyed his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is scheduled to meet his Pakistan counterpart Sartaj Aziz in New Delhi for talks on terrorism-related issues for the first time on August 23, as decided in a meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif last month in Ufa in Russia. There have been 40 violations of the 2003 ceasefire accord this month and a total of over 230 ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border this year.