The 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly was held last week

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New Delhi:

The United Nations is still hopeful of a dialogue between India and Pakistan “despite the tone and content of the remarks” exchanged between the two countries at the UN General Assembly, the spokesperson of the global body’s Secretary General told NDTV.

Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had announced that he was “encouraged” by the fact that India and Pakistan had announced a ceasefire and he hoped for “further dialogue”.

However, recently at the UN General Assembly, India and Pakistan exchanged very strong statements. Pakistan accused India of perpetuating Islamophobia while India pointed out Pakistan has been “sheltering terrorists” and working as an “arsonist disguised as a firefighter”.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, was asked whether the UN was concerned by this exchange between India and Pakistan, especially with respect to peace in the region, and if the UN Secretary-General was planning to speak to the leaders of either of the two neighbouring countries.

“We heard the remarks and I think despite the tone and content of the remarks we always remain hopeful that dialogue can happen maybe in a place that is not under the spotlight,” Mr Dujarric told NDTV.

On Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in a pre-recorded video address at the UN General Assembly accused India of a “reign of terror” on Muslims.

While India often ignores Pakistan’s false statements at the UN, this time it exercised its right to respond to Mr Khan. Sneha Dubey, First Secretary at India’s UN mission, said Pakistan had been “sheltering and glorifying al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden” who was killed by US special forces in a 2011 raid in the army city of Abbottabad.

“We keep hearing that Pakistan is a ‘victim of terrorism’. This is the country which is an arsonist disguising itself as a firefighter. Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their backyard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbours. Our region, and in fact the entire world, has suffered because of their policies. On the other hand, they are trying to cover up sectarian violence in their country as acts of terror,” Ms Dubey said.

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