UNITED NATIONS: India has slammed Pakistan for again trying to raise the Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council where it failed one more time to find any support, with New Delhi asserting that Islamabad needs to focus on the hard tasks it has to address in order to ensure normal relations with India.
China, Pakistan’s “all-weather ally”, on Wednesday stood alone in the Pakistani corner to get the Security Council to focus on the Kashmir issue. The attempt failed as other member countries felt Kashmir is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. Earlier on the day, China made the fresh pitch to raise the Kashmir issue under ‘other matters’ during closed consultations in the Security Council Consultations Room.
India’s Permenent 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 alarmist scenario painted by the representatives of Pakistan nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by representatives of Pakistan in the 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 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, described the discussions on Kashmir during the closed consultations to be ‘low key.’ A top European diplomat said the issue should be resolved bilaterally and it was a “domestic affair”. Akbaruddin further said, “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 focusses on the hard tasks it has to address in order to ensure normal relations with India.”
Coming out of the meeting, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said: “We had a meeting on Jammu and Kashmir. And I’m sure you all know that Foreign Minister of Pakistan wrote letters to the Security Council asking it to pay attention to the current situation in Jammu and 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 (it) 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 its “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 help both the parties to understand the risk of further escalation and will encourage them to approach each other and have a dialogue and seek solutions through dialogue. I think that will be helpful.”
The current move by China was the third such attempt to raise the Kashmir issue in the UNSC since August last when the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was scrapped by the government, and the state was bifurcated into two union territories. In August, China pushed for a UNSC meeting on Kashmir. However, the meeting did not yield desired results for China as the member-states maintained that India’s move was an internal issue. Last month, France, the US, the UK 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 Jammu and Kashmir, and has criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh. New Delhi’s decisions on Kashmir had also cast a shadow over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in October last for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not withstanding the acrimony over the issue between the two countries, Modi and Xi held “successful” talks in the ancient coastal town of Mamallapuram near Chennai in Tamil Nadu, signalling a recalibration of the bilateral ties.