The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday discussed Kashmir for the second time in five months.
“Pakistan’s practice of using false pretenses to distract from addressing the malaise that afflicts it has run its course today,” India’s envoy at the world body, Syed Akbaruddin, told The Hindu after the informal “closed consultations”. “We are happy that neither the alarmist scenario painted by the representatives of Pakistan nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by representatives of Pakistan in UN fora were found to be credible today,” he added.
The ambassador said the discussion was seen as a “distraction” and India’s “many friends” had pointed out that there were bilateral mechanisms to address the disputes between India and Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s practice of using false pretences to distract from addressing the malaise that afflicts it has run its course,” Akbaruddin added. “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.”
Later in the day, the envoy tweeted: “Today at UN, our flag is flying high. Those that launched a ‘false flag’ effort got a stinging response from our many friends.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday welcomed the meeting and claimed that the matter was an internationally recognised dispute that remains on the agenda of the international body.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the UN during the meeting “confirmed that India’s August 5 measures resulted in the rise of tensions and that the ‘local situation’ remains tense”.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, tweeted that the country was in favour of normalising relations between the two neighbours. “We hope that differences between them will be settled through bilateral efforts based on the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration,” he added. Several other countries of the UNSC also felt it was a “bilateral matter”, according to PTI.
The Security Council meeting was convened to discuss the situation in Mali, but China made a request to discuss Kashmir under the agenda of “any other business points”, reported Pakistan’s Express Tribune.
France, however, was reported to have opposed the discussion. “France’s position has not changed and is very clear: the Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally – as we have stated on several occasions and will continue to reiterate to our partners on the United Nations Security Council,” Hindustan Times quoted a French diplomatic source as saying.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said he was 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”, according to PTI.
“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,” he added. “Members exchanged views on that.”
A security lockdown was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 after Parliament revoked its special constitutional status, detained several political leaders, and severed communication links. Eleven days later, the Security Council conducted the first closed-door meeting even as India reiterated that Kashmir was an internal matter. It was the first time in over 50 years that the UN Security Council held a meeting exclusively to discuss Kashmir.
Pakistan had then claimed that it was not its “last step” with regard to Kashmir. After the meeting, China said members of the Security Council had voiced deep concerns about the situation in the region, and hoped that the “relevant parties will exercise restraint and refrain from taking unilateral actions”. It also called upon the two countries to resolve the matter through dialogue.
However, the Narendra Modi government has repeatedly faced global pressure to restore normalcy in the Valley. On October 25, the United States asked India to provide a road map for the restoration of normalcy in the region, including the immediate release of all political detainees.