There were no direct observation of surgical strikes: UN mission monitoring LoC

United Nations: The UN mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan “has not directly observed” any firing along the LoC, UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said today against the backdrop of the surgical strikes conducted by India in PoK.

The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) “has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incidents,” the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters here.

When pressed to explain how UNMOGIP did not observe any firing even as India said it has conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control, Dujarric repeated that UNMOGIP has not “directly observed” any of the firing.

“They are obviously aware of the reports of these presumed violations and are talking to the relevant concerned authorities,” he said.

In response to a question, he said Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi did meet the UN chief earlier on Friday at the request of the envoy but said Ban’s office does not give readouts of his meetings with ambassadors of nations.

Dujarric reiterated that the Secretary General is following the situation along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan with “great concern and the increased tensions along the LoC as well as the escalating rhetoric” between the two countries.

He stressed that the UN Chief would welcome any proposals to de-escalate the tensions between the nuclear-armed neigbours.

“The Secretary General urges the government of India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and address the outstanding issues peacefully and through dialogue. He would welcome all proposals in that regard as well as any de-escalation initiatives,” Dujarric said.

He said the UN observer group for India and Pakistan is “aware” of the reports of the “presumed ceasefire violations” and is liaising with the concerned authorities to obtain further information.

“The Secretary General also recalls the role played by UNMOGIP, which is deployed to observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the 1971 ceasefire to report thereon to the Secretary General,” he said.

India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.

The terror launch pads were targeted by the Army on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 in a nearly five- hour-long operation.