Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said that Pakistan welcomes the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres' offer of mediation to resolve outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, Radio Pakistan reported.
Speaking to media in Islamabad, the foreign minister added that the Indian reaction to the UN chief's offer shows that India is avoiding resolution of outstanding issues.
On Sunday, the UN chief had offered his role as a mediator for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and said that his good offices could be used for this purpose. Talking about Pakistan-India relations, Guterres had stressed the need for de-escalation, both militarily and verbally.
Guterres had said that good offices only work when accepted by both sides. “Diplomacy and dialogue remain the only tools that guarantee peace and stability with solutions in accordance with the Charter of United Nations and resolutions of the Security Council,” he had said, adding that he had repeatedly “reiterated my offer to exercise my good offices should both sides ask”.
However, India had on Monday rejected the UN chief's offer for mediation, with the spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs saying that, "The issue of [Jammu and Kashmir] that needs to be addressed is that of vacation of the territories illegally and forcibly occupied by Pakistan."
He added that "further issues, if any, would be discussed bilaterally. There is no role or scope for third party mediation."
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in a press conference highlighted the disparity in the ways in which Pakistan and India treat their minority populations.