New Delhi: Welcoming efforts by India and Pakistan to improve their relations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday pressed for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue sans violence and violations of human rights.
"I hope this issue is addressed peacefully without violence and respecting wills of the people there," Ban, who is in New Delhi on a four-day chief, told reporters.
The UN chief stressed that the Kashmir issue should be resolved "without resorting to any violence and fully respecting the human rights sentiments there".
Ban welcomed "the continued efforts to improve the relations between India and Pakistan".
"This has a broader significance for the region and for global peace. I realise there are many outstanding issues but I encourage leaders of both the countries to persist with these efforts," he said.
Terrorism and the state of India-Pakistan relations figured prominently in discussions Ban had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.
Ban's comments on Kashmir came even as hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday appealed to him to persuade India to resolve the Kashmir issue.
"United Nations came into being for resolving disputes but it has so far not succeeded in resolving the long pending Kashmir issue. We appeal that the Secretary General should persuade India to give up its rigid stand and cooperate in finding a durable solution," Geelani said in a statement.