ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has asked the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, to directly contact India on the Pak-India talks proposal as New Delhi had never responded positively to offers for dialogue, diplomatic sources said.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Pakistan was ready to the UN arbitration and Guterres had been conveyed the message.

Pakistan, an official said, had accepted all such offers in the past and welcomed efforts for peace in the region.

“António Guterres has been told that Pakistan is just a call away and his office should contact India directly because they never appreciate such offers. Their [India’s] approach has always been negative,” he added.

Earlier, the UN secretary general reiterated his offer to mediate peace talks between Pakistan and India.

He also expressed concern over the situation along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

The UN chief urged Pakistan and India to resolve the issues through a dialogue.

Guterres’ spokesperson said, the secretary general’s good offices was “always available” but the two sides “must agree to his mediation.”

Another official at the foreign ministry said Pakistan’s permanent representative at the UN Dr Maleeha Lodhi had sent a message to the UN chief’s office thanking him for the offer.

“We have been raising the issue in the UN as well. It’s India that is involved in violations along the LoC. We have been seeking dialogue for years without any positive response from India. We have sent the complaint [against India] to the UN chief as well,” he said.

Amid the exchange of firing along the LoC and the WB, Pakistan had asked India over the weekend to stop ceasefire violations before “it is too late” and “things get out of control”.

Tension between Pakistan and India escalated this week amid skirmishes along the LoC and the Working Boundary.

Last week, Director-General South Asia Dr Mohammed Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh five times to condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the LoC and the WB.

This month, Indian army chief Gen Bipin Rawat made a controversial statement, claiming the Indian army was ready to call Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and violate the border to carry out any operation inside Pakistan.

“We will call the [nuclear] bluff of Pakistan. If we will have to really confront the Pakistanis, and a task is given to us, we are not going to say we cannot cross the border because they have nuclear weapons. We will have to call their nuclear bluff,” he contended, inviting sharp reaction from Pakistan.

Last month, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval held an unannounced meeting in Bangkok to build the trust level.

Reports said Janjua and Doval discussed the Kashmir issue, terrorism and overall bilateral ties.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have been high since the killing of a Kashmiri freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, in July 2016. An attack on Indian forces in September 2016, that killed 19 soldiers in Uri area of held Kashmir - further heightened the tensions.  Defense analyst and former Brigadier Said Nazir said India was violating the ceasefire as part of “their strategic plan” against Pakistan.

“India is killing civilians and at the same time blaming Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism. They are plotting to create hurdles in our fight against terrorism and engage our forces on the eastern borders,” he said.

Nazir said the UN chief’s offer was a positive step and both Pakistan and India must grab the opportunity.

“India is trying to impose a war. Pakistan must act to expose India’s designs,” he said.

International affairs expert Dr Mohammad Khan said Pakistan had been raising its voice against the Indian aggression but India was attempting to achieve some “hidden agenda”.

He said the international community was ignoring India’s ceasefire violations.

“The UN and the world must press India to come to the talks table,” he added.

On Tuesday, Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik moved a resolution against the unprovoked violations across the LoC by the Indian forces.

The committee unanimously passed the resolution.