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UNMOGIP asked to vacate government bungalow: India

UNMOGIP asked to vacate government bungalow: India
India has asked the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to vacate the government bungalow to ‘rationalise’ the presence of the group which government says has ‘outlived its relevance’.

Asserting that it has been India’s ‘consistent and long-standing view that UNMOGIP has outlived its mandate’, Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said they have ‘monetised’ various facilities extended to the organisation. UNMOGIP was given the bungalow free of charge 40 years ago.

‘We have asked the UNMOGIP to vacate the government bungalow on Purana Qila Road which they have been occupying free of charge. This is in line with our effort to rationalise the UNMOGIP presence in India. As part of this exercise, we have also monetized some of the facilities that UNMOGIP had been availing free of cost till now,’ he said. Indian stand is that UNMOGIP’s role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.
Asked if any deadline has been given, Akbaruddin said, ‘These are diplomatic communications and in diplomacy you are aware that these things are worked out quietly behind the scenes and once it is worked out we will let you know. It is a decision that we have taken that they will need to vacate.’
Explaining further what he meant by the term ‘rationalise UNMOGIP presence in India’, he said, ‘We are in budgetary season and everybody is tightening their belts.’

‘Rationalisation means that you pay for what you get, he said, adding that it also means monetisation of services that is provided,’ he said. ‘And as far as the UN is concerned, I am certain it is an organisation with adequate resources with no paucity of funds. So we should not be bothered about it too much,’ he said.

UNMOGIP in New Delhi is currently based out of a Type VII bungalow in Purana Qila Road.
Officials said the UN organisation was free to take any private property on rent.
UNMOGIP observers have been located at the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since 1949 and supervise the truce between the two neighbours.
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