UNITED NATIONS: In a memorandum to the President of the Security Council, Secretary-General U Thant has called for “a more forthright role” for the UN to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan in an explosive situation…. Thant released the text of the confidential document … because he said, “there has been considerable, and in some cases, misleading speculation….”

Despite Thant’s strong appeal, however, diplomatic sources here said … that the Council had failed to agree on measures to alleviate tension between India and Pakistan. Thant [said that] since March, when the Pakistan Army suppressed the Bengali secessionists’ movement in East Pakistan, “I have become apprehensive at the steady deterioration of the situation. In the present case there is an element of danger, for the crisis is unfolding in the context of the long-standing and unresolved differences between India and Pakistan. Differences which gave rise to open warfare only six years ago,” Thant said.

The UN Chief added that … he had … come to the conclusion “that the time is past when the international community can continue to stand by watching the situation deteriorate and hoping that relief programme, humanitarian efforts and good intentions will be enough to turn the tide….”

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021

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