Increasingly concerned by the "alarming" rise in tension between India and Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the both sides to settle the Kashmir question and other outstanding issues without violence.
The Secretary-General has been in close contact with the leaders of both sides "to encourage them to resolve their differences, including over Kashmir, by peaceful means," a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement to the press.
Stressing the need to replace the logic and language of war with the logic and language of peace, the statement reiterated the Secretary-General's unconditional condemnation of all acts of terrorism.
"There can be no tolerance for such acts, especially across the line of control in Kashmir," spokesman Fred Eckhard said. "The Secretary-General accordingly urges President [Pervez] Musharraf to take vigorous action to ensure full implementation of the policy set out in his speech of 12 January."
On that occasion, the Pakistani leader emphasized tolerance, the rule of law and the need to fight terrorism and extremism, a position which Mr. Annan immediately hailed as "a significant further step towards easing the dangerous situation in the region."