UNITED NATIONS — With Pakistan announcing that the bilateral peace process with India has been “suspended”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that the offer of his “good offices” to help resolve the conflict stands but it is up to both nations to seek it.
“Whenever there is a conflict, an issue, between Member States, the Secretary-General’s offer for good offices stands as a matter of principle. But, that has to be agreed on and asked for by both parties,” Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here.
Dujarric was responding to a question at his daily briefing yesterday about whether the Secretary-General would like to offer his good offices given that the peace talks between India and Pakistan were “interrupted” again.
Introducing a fresh chill in Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit on April 7 said the bilateral peace process stands “suspended”.
He also poured cold water on India’s expectations that a team of NIA investigators would be allowed to visit Pakistan in connection with the Pathankot terror strike probe on the basis of reciprocity, a Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) having just concluded a visit to India.
India, however, countered the Pakistan High Commissioner’s assertion that the visit by Pakistani JIT was not on reciprocity and said that before the team’s visit, both sides had agreed that it would be on the basis of reciprocity.
Reacting to Basit’s remarks that the Indo-Pak peace process stands “suspended”, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup referred to the press conference of Pakistani Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nafees Zakaria in which he had said, “I have stated this many times that both countries are in contact with each other and it has been reiterated from both sides that modalities are being worked out.”–PTI