UN chief hopes India and Pakistan will be able to play a useful role in stabilising Afghanistan

Acknowledging that India, along with the rest of the emerging countries, had an important role in global governance issues, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon steered clear of any reference to expansion of the UN Security Council.

After describing India as a middle-level country, which had yet to provide “basic human services” to all, the UN Secretary General wanted it to comply with the UNSC's resolution 1887, which among non-proliferation and disarmament issues, asks the holdouts — Israel, Pakistan and India — to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Welcoming improving ties between India and Pakistan, he hoped they would be able to play a useful role in stabilising Afghanistan, after the current security cover provided by western countries and their allies begins thinning. He wanted them to continue talking to resolve outstanding issues, and hoped the Kashmir issue would be addressed peacefully, while reflecting the will of the people, fully respecting human rights, and in an atmosphere free of the threat of violence.

“I am pleased with the continued efforts to improve the relations between India and Pakistan. This has a greater significance for the region, and for global peace. I realise there are many outstanding issues, but I encourage leaders of both the countries to persist with these efforts,” he said, while calling for bringing the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack to book “as soon as possible” and noting that the two governments were making efforts to do so.

While Mr. Ban Ki-moon evaded the issue of expanding the UNSC, he acknowledged the importance of alternate fora such as the G-20 and BRICS, but didn't see them as competitors. “Never in the past has multilateral had so much emphasis as at present,” he noted, while seeing an important role for India in a multi-polar scenario that had got out of the systems of the Cold War.

During the day, Mr. Ban Ki-moon called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna.

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