UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan and India engaged in a verbal duel in the Security Council on Monday over the relevance of UN observer group in the disputed Kashmir region after India suggested that the mission should be abandonedwhile Pakistan said it still had a role.India's UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri argued that the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, has been "overtaken" by 1971 Simla Accord and urged the world body to consider spending money allocated for the 42-member group elsewhere. The Indian ambassador raised the issue after Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, who president over the council meeting, underscored the "important role" UNMOGIP played in monitoring peace.Reacting to the remark about the UN observer group, Ambassador Puri said, "Suffice it to point out that UNMOGIP's role has been overtaken by the Simla Agreement of 1972 between India and Pakistan, signed by the Heads of the two governments and ratified by their respective parliaments." Pakistan UN Ambassador Masood Khan, who assumed the presidency of the Council after Foreign Secretary Jilani left for an appointment, rejected the Indian argument, saying UNMOGIP's mandate remained ‘fully valid, relevant and operative’. "No bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan has overtaken or affected the role or legality of UNMOGIP," he said towards the end of a day-long debate on UN peacekeeping convened by Pakistan, which holds the 15-member body's presidency for the month of January."The UNMOGIP continues to monitor the ceasefire in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council," Ambassador Masood Khan added. As the Pakistani ambassador set the record straight, another Indian delegate challenged Pakistan's stand.Manish Gupta, a counsellor at the Indian Mission to the UN, said that UNMOGIP had been put in place to supervise the ceasefire line as the result of 1949 Karachi agreement. That ceasefire line no longer existed; the new one was established on 17 December 1971 and followed by an agreement between the two countries in 1972, which settled their issues by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations, he said. That resulted in conversion of ceasefire line into the line of control. The ceasefire line had thus overtaken by the LOC. "Thus UNMOGIP remains invalid," the Indian delegate added.Masood Khan dismissed his argument, saying, "The fact is that both India and Pakistan are hosting UNMOGIP." After a daylong meeting, the Security Council endorsed an approach to peacekeeping that focuses more sharply on laying the groundwork for lasting stability in conflict-plagued countries.Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2086 (2013), the 15-member body emphasised that “United Nations peacekeeping activities should be conducted in a manner so as to facilitate post-conflict peacebuilding, prevention of relapse of armed conflict and progress toward sustainable peace and development.”The resolution, which was co-sponsored by all Council members, is the first of its kind in 10 years. Endorsing an approach that goes well beyond the basic tasks of monitoring ceasefires and peace processes, the resolution states that multidimensional peacekeeping missions may be mandated to support a range of activities that aimed at future stability. Such efforts included the strengthening of national security sectors, the implementation of programmes to reintegrate ex-combatants into civilian life, the strengthening of rule of law, reconciliation and inclusive political processes, protection of civilians and their rights, building of governance institutions and delivery of humanitarian aid.In his remarks, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Abbas Jilani affirmed the importance of UN peacekeeping which he said “has saved tens of millions of lives around the globe,” paying tribute to the more than 3,000 blue helmets that have laid down their lives for the cause.Noting that his country was a leading military and police contributor to UN missions, with 145,000 troops deployed in 41 missions over five decades, he said that “keeping peace is as important as bringing it about,” for which purpose it was critical to create a space for a range of peacebuilding activities.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on UN Member States to support this approach in an integrated, coherent manner. “I call on you to contribute military and police personnel with the professional skills, training and integrity required to fully implement their mandates,” he said in a statement that was followed by that of Jilani.