Ceasefire along LoC in disputed Kashmir is holding: UN official

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A senior UN official has told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations that the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region remains in place, with only two violations reported in 2023, according to diplomatic sources. Briefing the 157-member Committee, also known as C-34, Khaled Khairi, the assistant secretary-general for the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific in the Department of Political Affairs, also said that the UN was implementing its mandate for the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the LoC, as outlined in Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.

Khairi pointed out that the mission was facing increasing difficulties in obtaining visas, which he said hindered its ability to carry out its mandate fully. Established in 1949, UNMOGIP is the second-longest-running UN peacekeeping mission. Despite India’s ongoing challenges and hindrances, including visa denials and restrictions on the movement of UNMOGIP peacekeepers in Indian-occupied Kashmir, the mission continues to play a vital role in observing and reporting on the situation along the LoC, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region. ASG Khiari also brought the issue of border crossing closure to the attention of the Committee, saying that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sialkot-Jammu border crossing has remained closed. Meanwhile, the committee started its negotiation process for its 2024 report. Naeem Sabir Khan, a counselor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, is acting as one of the co-facilitators of the process.