Pakistan’s efforts to raise Jammu and Kashmir at the UN Security Council through China crumbled once again on Wednesday as most members of the top world body said it was not the place to discuss the issue.
India slammed the move, asking Islamabad to focus on addressing issues like sheltering terrorists to improve relations with New Delhi. “Pakistan’s practice of using false pretenses to distract from addressing the malaise that afflicts it has run its course today,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan’s “all-weather ally” China made the fresh pitch to raise the Kashmir issue under “other matters” during closed consultations in the Security Council Consultations Room. “We once again saw an effort made by one member state of the UN, fail in plain view of all others,” Mr. Akbaruddin told.
“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,” Mr. Akbaruddin.
Reportedly, on Wednesday’s talks at the Security Council were “informal”. A European official, heading into the Security Council meeting, described the discussions to be “low key”.
A top European diplomat said the issue should be resolved bilaterally and it was a “domestic affair”.
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 the Security Council to pay attention to the current situation in Jammu and 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”. The latest move by China was the third such attempt since August 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.
Last month, France, the US, the UK, and Russia foiled an attempt by China to discuss Kashmir at a closed-door meeting of the Security Council. French diplomatic sources told that the position of France has not changed and is very clear that 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,” a source said.
While most countries have backed India’s position that Kashmir is an internal matter and a bilateral one, there have been concerns expressed about the detentions of political leaders and internet restrictions. These concerns were expressed by the US again last week.