New Delhi, July 8 (Reuters): India has asked a UN military observer group on Kashmir to vacate a government-provided bungalow in New Delhi, in a toughening stance against a mission that Indians have long opposed.
New Delhi has bristled against external involvement in Kashmir, including the UN Military Observers Group on India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) set up in 1949.
The foreign ministry said today the government had asked UNMOGIP to hand over the Delhi premises from where it was running a liaison office for more than four decades for free as part of efforts to rationalise the mission’s presence in India.
The UN mission has its main offices in Srinagar and Islamabad as part of a UN Security Council resolution to supervise the ceasefire.
New Delhi argued that the UN had little role to play after India and Pakistan signed the Simla Pact in 1972 under which the two countries agreed to resolve all disputes including Kashmir bilaterally. “As far as we are concerned the UNMOGIP has outlived its relevance,” foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
UNMOGIP said it had received the request in May when India was in the midst of elections, and was looking at alternative accommodation.
The military authorities of Pakistan have continued to lodge complaints with UNMOGIP about ceasefire violations. Indian military authorities have lodged no complaints since January 1972.