United Nations, April 30:
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is still available to use his “good offices” to help India and Pakistan resolve their differences if asked by both countries, according to his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.
“That offer has already been on the table if both parties want it, “Haq told reporters Wednesday. “So if both parties want it, we are available.”
India has opposed any third-party involvement in its dealings with Pakistan, especially on Kashmir.
Haq’s statement made in response to a reporter’s question was only a reiteration of Ban’s offer made last September after his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The reporter quoted Sharif’s assertion in an interview to the Saudi Gazette during his visit to Saudi Arabia last week that Pakistan’s “desire for good neighborly relations with India has not been reciprocated” and asked if Ban would renew his “good offices” offer.
India cancelled talks with Pakistan scheduled for last August after its high commissioner in New Delhi, Abdul Basit, met with Kashmiri separatists.
However, Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited Islamabad last month and met with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhury.
Jaishankar called the meeting a sign of India’s “determination to forge a cooperative relationship with Pakistan.” (IANS)