UNITED NATIONS            -     UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his concern over the grave situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir after India’s formally annexed the disputed State on Thursday amid a harsh security lockdown and widespread international censure.

“Well, just to reiterate our basic concerns that the Secretary General has previously expressed his concerns about the situation in Kashmir,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman of the UN chief , said when asked about the implementation by India of the its legislation that divides Jammu and Kashmir into two federally governed territories.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government illegally withdrew Kashmir’s special status on August 5th and placed the disputed territory under lockdown which is still continuing.

Spokesman Farhan Haq said that the Secretary-General, who met leaders of India and Pakistan in the aftermath of India’s actions in Kashmir, has appealed to both sides to deal with the issue through dialogue.

“As we’ve made clear and, particularly, as the High Commissioner for Human Rights has made clear, the situation in Kashmir can only be solved with full respect for human rights”, the spokesman added.

On Tuesday, the Geneva-based office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued a statement, stating that, “We are extremely concerned that the population In Kashmir continues to be deprived of a wide range of human rights and we urge the Indian authorities to unlock the situation and fully restore the rights that are currently being denied.”