Exclusive: At Idea Exchange, Pak High Commissioner Salman Bashir says UN mission played 'important role'

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Khurshid also said that the issue has to be dealt with bilaterally and there was no scope of any third-party involvement, hours after the two countries sparred at the UN in New York over the UNMOGIP's role.

"We did hear some statements about giving access to third parties in this affair. I think we have moved away from that...I think that the contacts between the DGMOs of both sides have indicated that the bilateral process remains in a sustained and steady manner," he said.

"We haven't heard anything more about statements that obviously are not acceptable to us. We do reiterate our position that these are bilateral issues and they should be settled bilaterally. We have a history of being able to work bilaterally and would want to maintain that. We need to contain this in the bilateral purview," Khurshid added.

But Pakistani High Commissioner Salman Bashir, speaking at the Idea Exchange interaction at The Indian Express, said that the UN mission had played an "important role" for the last six decades and the recent flare-up has "underscored the need" for the mechanism.

"I know that the incident of January 6 as well as previous times, violations of the ceasefire on the LoC, are a matter of course regularly reported by Pakistan to the UNMOGIP...this is one of the oldest peacekeeping missions of the United Nations, and as far as the reference made by Pakistan to the UNMOGIP is concerned recently in the context of what was alleged regarding Pakistan, in response to that, we had said, that if required, this matter could be investigated by UNMOGIP," Bashir said.

"The fact is that UNMOGIP is a UN Security Council-mandated peacekeeping set-up. We feel that for over six decades, it has played an important role and like any other peacekeeping mission, it provides an avenue, if required at times, to address concerns which cannot be sort of resolved through the mechanisms that I have earlier emphasized, like the India-Pakistan mechanisms," the envoy said.

... contd.

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