New Delhi, New York –The UN Security Council on Wednesday held a close door discussion on the ongoing situation in Kashmir which remains under a communication lockdown since Aug 5, 2019 when New Delhi revoked its semi-autonomous status.
It was the third time the UNSC discussed the Kashmir situation since the revocation of its special status.
Although the UNSC meeting on Wednesday took place behind closed doors, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun spoke to journalists outside the chamber, confirming that the council had reviewed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
A PTI report quoting External Afffairs Ministry source in New Delhi however said, Beijing, Islamabad’s ‘all-weather ally’, stood alone in the Pakistani corner to get the Security Council to focus on the Kashmir issue.
During closed-door consultations in the Security Council Consultations Room, it tried to bring in the issue under ‘other matters’ item of the UNSC agenda.
However, all the other member countries felt Kashmir was a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan
India’s permanent representative to the UN, ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said: “We once again saw an effort made by one member state of the UN fail in plain view of all others.
“We are happy that neither the alarmist scenario painted by representatives of Pakistan nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by representatives of Pakistan on UN fora were found to be credible today,” Akbaruddin told PTI.
“We are glad that the effort was viewed as a distraction, and it was pointed out by many friends that bilateral mechanisms are available to raise and address issues that Pakistan may have in its ties with India,” he said.
A European source, heading into the Security Council meeting, had described the discussions on Kashmir during the closed consultations as “low key.”
A top European diplomat said the issue should be resolved bilaterally and it was a “domestic affair.”
However view from Islamabad was different. Prime Minister Imran Khan said the consideration of the situation in Kashmir by the UNSC “reflects a recognition of the seriousness of the prevailing situation”.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister Khan said: “Pakistan welcomes UN Security Council discussing the situation in Jammu & Kashmir again. An internationally recognized dispute, J&K remains on the Security Council’s agenda & its consideration by the Council reflects a recognition of the seriousness of the prevailing situation.”
Pakistan welcomes UN Security Council discussing the situation in Jammu & Kashmir again. An internationally recognized dispute, J&K remains on the Security Council’s agenda & its consideration by the Council reflects a recognition of the seriousness of the prevailing situation.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 16, 2020
Indian envoy Akbaruddin on his part said that “Pakistan’s practice of using false pretences to distract from addressing the malaise that afflicts it has run its course. We hope that Pakistan pays heed to the clear signals sent out here today and focuses on the hard tasks it has to address in order to ensure normal relations with India.”
Today @UN…our flag is flying high.
Those that launched a “False Flag” effort got a stinging response from our many friends… 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/X0jJgassn2
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) January 15, 2020
Coming out of the meeting, Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said: “We had a meeting on Jammu & Kashmir. And I’m sure you all know that the foreign minister of Pakistan wrote letters to the Security Council asking the Security Council to pay attention to the current situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
“The issue of India and Pakistan has always been on the agenda of the Security Council and today we have also seen some tensions, so the Security Council had a briefing and heard at the briefing from the Secretariat concerning the current situation on the ground. Members exchanged views on that.”
Zhang later said China “has stated our position very clearly. We remain concerned about the situation on the ground (in Kashmir).”
When asked if the meeting advanced anything, he said: “I am sure the meeting will be helping both parties to understand the risk of further escalation and will encourage them to approach to each other and to have dialogue and to seek means, to seek solutions through dialogue. I think that will be helpful.”
In August, China pushed for a UNSC meeting on Kashmir after New Delhi scrapped J&K’s special status. However, the meeting did not yield the desired results for China as the member-states maintained that India’s move was an internal issue.
Last month, France, U.S., the U.K. and Russia foiled an attempt by China to discuss Kashmir at a closed-door meeting of the UNSC.
China has been critical of India’s reorganisation of J&K, and has particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim to several parts of Ladakh. -With inputs from PTI