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India, Pak playing games along LoC: UN Observer 


SRINAGAR Oct 29 (NNI): Tensions are increasing between India and Pakistan over the Line of Control in Kashmir with both countries "playing political games" that may need to be resolved by the United States, the head of the UN observation force here charged Monday.
"My assessment is that the situation will become more tense in the time coming, not only along the LoC (Line of Control) but also in the whole of Jammu and Kashmir state," said Major General Hermann K. Loidolt, head of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
In unusually blunt remarks, Loidolt said it was obvious there were "games both parties are playing".
"Whatever the reason is for playing political games, may it be a diversionary manoeuvre on the Pakistani side to make India the
real enemy instead of the US, or may it be the dawning of the next election in India, it will be an issue for the US to solve," Times of India quoted Loidolt as saying.
"We all know there is no easy solution and especially that war is absolutely no solution for the issue of Kashmir," he added, in a statement read out to reporters.
Loidolt's statement marks the first time the UNMOGIP has taken a political stand on the Kashmir dispute.
The chief military observer stressed that UNMOGIP had no connection to the US but noted that Washington may be able to play a role in the long-standing dispute.
"Pakistan and India have fought three wars and the ceasefire line is now metamorphosed into the actual Line of Control. ... The relations between the two countries continue to revolve around those temporary agreements, some of which had UN involvement.
"At the moment it seems to arise as an important issue again, this time presumably under the auspices of the USA," he said.
Loidolt was critical of India's consistent rejection of any third-party mediation over Kashmir. "Without UN presence, the development of the situation could be unpredictable. If there would be no UNMOGIP here, in my opinion, in case of a new conflict, a new UN Security Council resolution and peacekeeping mission, in light of the standing Indian view, would be almost
US Secretary of State Colin Powell, on visits to Islamabad and New Delhi earlier this month, called on India and Pakistan to
resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue taking into account the "aspirations of the Kashmiri people". -NNI

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