UNSC likely to discuss Kashmir issue today2 min read . Updated: 16 Aug 2019, 07:30 PM IST
- This will be the first time in decades that the UNSC will be discussing the matter, two Indian diplomats said
- The move follows India revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir last week
New Delhi: The UN Security Council is expected to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday after China asked for "closed consultations" on the matter.
This is the first time in decades that the UNSC will discuss Kashmir as a subject, two Indian diplomats said.
The last time the matter came up at the UNSC was in 1965, while the last time India and Pakistan came up as a topic for discussion was in 1971, one of the diplomats said.
The move follows India revoking special status to Jammu and Kashmir last week. Pakistan had condemned the decision and rallied countries like China which had raised objections on the issue.
Earlier this week, Pakistan wrote to Poland, the Council President for the month of August, requesting a UNSC meeting, PTI quoting a UN diplomat said.
"China asked for closed consultations on the Security Council agenda item 'India Pakistan Question'. The request was in reference to the Pakistani letter to Security Council President," the diplomat was quoted as saying.
Closed door consultations are considered informal as opposed to public consultations, media reports said.
Pakistan’s Geo News, quoting UNSC President Joanna Wronecka said, "The UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16."
India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter, and has also told Pakistan to "accept the reality".
New Delhi has briefed members of the UN Security Council in New Delhi, New York, as well as in their respective capitals.
So far the US, a veto wielding permanent member of the UNSC, seemed neutral to India’s move, while Russia, another UNSC permanent member, has come out in support of New Delhi’s position on Kashmir.
According to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, however, a discussion on the Kashmir issue in the UNSC after four decades will be a landmark diplomatic achievement.
"The world needs to realise that it is the issue of humanity and not a piece of land between the two countries," Qureshi was quoted as telling Pakistan Television earlier this week.
Last week, Qureshi had visited Beijing for urgent consultations with the Chinese leadership on raising Kashmir issue at the UNSC.
After his return to Pakistan, he had said Beijing fully supported Islamabad in approaching the UNSC.
"China has directed its representative in New York to keep close liaison with Pakistani diplomats on the issue," Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad last week.
During his bilateral meeting with China's foreign minister Wang Yi on Monday in Beijing, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar conveyed that India's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter.
Jaishankar noted that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-economic development and there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
"India was not raising any additional territorial claims. The Chinese concerns in this regard were therefore misplaced," he said.
Jaishankar told Wang that these changes had no bearing on Pakistan as it was an internal matter.
"It did not impact the LoC. Where India Pakistan relations are concerned, Chinese side should base its assessment on realities. India, as a responsible power, had shown restraint in face of provocative Pakistani rhetoric and actions. India has always stood for normalisation of the ties in an atmosphere free of terror," the minister said