UNITED NATIONS, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed concern over recent deterioration of the situation between India and Pakistan, where up to 17 people have died during four days of shelling in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state, said the statement released by the UN's press service on Thursday.
"The Secretary-General is concerned about the recent escalation of violence along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. He deplores the loss of lives and the displacement of civilians on both sides," the statement said.
According to the statement, Ban Ki-moon encourages the authorities of India and Pakistan to resolve all differences through dialogue and "to engage constructively to find a long-term solution for peace and stability in Kashmir. " This is the second time the UN Secretary-General has urged India and Pakistan to resolve their issues diplomatically since the beginning of this week.
It was reported earlier that on Wednesday night Pakistani frontier guards opened fire along the whole border line under their control, firing at 60 Indian border troop posts and 90 neighboring villages and that the Indian side returned fire. According to Indian media reports, more than 30,000 residents have fled villages in Jammu and Kashmir amid intensification of cross-border fire exchange between Indian and Pakistani troops.
Following the end of the British rule and the establishment of independence in both India and Pakistan, the two neighboring countries have engaged in a number of armed conflicts over the Kashmir region.
Currently, there are no official borders in the region while the armies of the two conflicting countries determine the lines of control. Tension between India and Pakistan has been fueled by frequent exchanges of fire at the border, with both sides accusing each other of violating the ceasefire agreement of 2003.