Pulwama attack: UN urges India, Pakistan to de-escalate tensions

Antonio Guterres

United Nations: In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 jawans were killed, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged India and Pakistan to take immediate steps to de-escalate tension between the two nations.

Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with over 100 kg of explosives into a bus carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama district on 14 February. 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured in the incident. Since the Uri attack in 2016, the Pulwama incident has been termed as one of the worst terror attacks in the recent past. The suicide bomber was identified as Adil Ahmed, who had joined the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in 2018. The terror group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said allegations against his country are without any evidence and that his government would act only if India provides actionable evidence. Rubbishing his remarks India said Pakistan disclaiming any link with terrorist attacks is an often repeated lame excuse and that the country was the nerve centre for such groups. Tension escalated between the two nations after Narendra Modi said the Security forces have been given full freedom to retaliate.

Yesterday, speaking to reporters, Antonio Guterres spokesperson said that the Secretary General stressed the importance for both India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to take immediate steps to de-escalate the tension.

When asked about Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying the UN must step in to defuse tensions between the two nations, Stephane Dujarric said the increase in tensions between the two countries in the wake of the attack on Indian security personnel on 14 February in Pulwama was deeply concerning.

He further said Pakistan’s mission at the UN requested for the meeting with the Secretary General and that they have not yet received received any letter in that regard.

Immediately after the 14 February attack, Guterres had last week strongly condemned the terror attack and called for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.

NT Bureau