United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
In picture: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres takes part in a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, US, June 20, 2017.Reuters

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has hinted that he is pushing India and Pakistan to restart dialogues on the Kashmir issue. He was speaking at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, June 20, when he dropped this hint. 

India and Pakistan have since Independence in 1947 laid claim to Jammu and Kashmir. While India still lays claim to it, Pakistan has occupied parts of the state and is ruling what is referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Pakistan has been known to foment terrorism in PoK as well as Jammu and Kashmir, and has been globally laughed at for suggesting otherwise

Even the United States has blamed Pakistan for the worsening its ties with neighbouring India. India has, meanwhile, rejected all efforts by Pakistan to get a third party to intervene in negotiations or dialogues over Kashmir.

Therefore, it came as a surprise when Guterres hinted that he might be pushing both sides back to the talking phase. 

On Tuesday, he was asked by a reporter during the aforementioned press conference: "Are you involved in bringing about a dialogue between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute?" The reporter had already pointed out by then that Guterres had met the prime ministers of both countries — Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif. 

India Pakistan
India-Pakistan officials [Representational image]Reuters File Photo

The UN chief rhetorically replied: "Why do you think I met three times the prime minister of Pakistan and two times the prime minister of India?" He then paused and chuckled a bit before adding: "For someone accused of doing nothing it is quite a number of meetings!"

It remains to be seen whether Guterres' efforts manage bring India and Pakistan to the talking table, after they walked away from it following continued terror attacks in India carried out by terrorists who were trained on Pakistani soil.