UN snubs India on military group, trashes claims that UNMOGIP has lost relevance In a clear rebuff to India, UN's chief military observer in India and Pakistan mission - UNMOGIP - Major General Young Bum-Choi has trashed New Delhi's claim that the military group has lost its relevance and needs to be disbanded. "A permanent peace settlement should be arranged between the two states (India and Pakistan) and only then UNMOGIP should fade into history," the general said in an interview published in the February 2013 issue of the UN newsletter. Maj-General Y. Bum-Choi's views are published in the February issue of UNews. His remark is bound to create ripples in New Delhi, which has taken a tough view following the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani army men on the Line of Control on January 8. While Islamabad has been seeking a UNMOGIP probe into the killings, India sees it as a ploy by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir issue. India has been arguing that UNMOGIP's role has been overtaken by the Shimla Agreement of 1972. The UN official, however, said the UN mandate 307, which was issued in 1971, directs the UNMOGIP to supervise along the LoC and report back to the UN headquarters. "I know that since the 1972 Shimla agreement, the Indian government's standpoint is different, which is that India (does not need) UNMOGIP anymore. According to them, the issue is not third-party's engagement issue, it is a bilateral issue, as stated in that agreement," he said. General Choi of South Korea, who was appointed the head the mission by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in June last year, made it clear that the UNMOGIP will not be wound up. "UN's position is that UNMOGIP could be terminated only by a decision of the Security Council. The Shimla agreement does not supersede the UNMOGIP mission here until another UN resolution for terminating it is issued. Indians may have another point of view when they interpret the Shimla agreement.But whenever we would terminate the UN mission here, the consent of both parties will be essential." he said. On January 22, Indian envoy to the UN Hardeep Puri had said that in times of austerity, bodies such as UNMOGIP should be wound up. However, the UN official said Pakistan has to be on board if UNMOGIP has to be wound up. General Choi said he believes that it is unlikely that the tension on the LoC will spiral into a major conflict between India and Pakistan. "There are always tensions between the two states-firings sometimes big firings, but I don't think the series of firings will escalate into a major conflict," he said.