WORLD

UN asked to help resolve Kashmir dispute

UN ASKED TO HELP RESOLVE KASHMIR DISPUTE

Former prime minister of Azad Kashmir and secretary-general of World Kashmir Awareness Forum have called on UN to help resolve the Kashmir dispute.

"We are writing to urge a leadership role of the United Nations in resolving the 70-year-old Kashmir conflict," Sultan Mehmood Choudhary and Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai said in a memorandum submitted to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seen by Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

The memorandum said that the conflict has seen "more than 100,000 killings in the past two decade alone, and routine rape, torture, mutilation, plunder, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and ruthless punishment of peaceful political dissent."

"Kashmir conflict is perhaps the most dangerous conflict in the world because of the spiraling nuclear and missile race between India and Pakistan coupled with historical enmities that have occasioned three wars between the two rivals," it said.

The memorandum also called for a new negotiating formula.

"The element that has been missing in efforts towards a settlement is the political representation of Kashmiris on the negotiating table along with India and Pakistan," it stressed.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Also in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.

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