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    As Jammu and Kashmir transitioned from a state into two union territories, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterated his appeal that India and Pakistan deal with the Kashmir issue through dialogue and ensure full respect for human rights.

    Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday transitioned from a state into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, nearly three months after the NDA government abrogated the state’s special status.

    Asked about the Secretary General’s comment as Jammu and Kashmir ceased to be a state, the UN chief’s Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq during a media briefing on Thursday said, “Well, just to reiterate our basic concerns that the Secretary General has previously expressed his concerns about the situation in Kashmir. As you know, he has met with representatives of India and Pakistan at their request to discuss the situation.”

    Haq said the UN chief has appealed to both India and Pakistan “to deal with the issue through dialogue, and, as we’ve made clear and, particularly, as the High Commissioner for Human Rights has made clear, the situation in Kashmir can only be solved with full respect for human rights.”

    Tension between India and Pakistan has escalated after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

    Islamabad has downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

    Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter.

    The two UTs came into existence on the day of the birth anniversary of the country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.

    The August 5 decision by the Narendra Modi government to abrogate the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two Union Territories was taken 72 years after the then ruler of the princely state, Maharaja Hari Singh, executed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, making it part of the Union of India.

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