Word For Peace
New Delhi: China on Wednesday once again mentioned the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council in a closed-consultation meeting but its second bid since August last year to internationalise the dispute over Kashmir came a cropper.
Four other permanent five members clearly said the issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.
French diplomatic sources told News 18 even before the start of the meeting that their position has not changed and is very clear: the Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally. They said they have stated this on several occasions and will continue to reiterate to our partners on the United Nations Security Council.
Sources said while UK urged that the matter be resolved bilaterally, US said there was no need to discuss this issue at the Security Council.
Russian envoy to UN tweeted his country’s stand within minutes after the meeting ended.
Dmitry Polyanskiy said: “Russia firmly stands for the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. We hope that differences between them will be settled through bilateral efforts based on the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration.”
Another current UNSC member Germany was also of the view that UNSC was not the place to discuss Kashmir dispute, accordingly to sources.
In December last year, China had been testing waters to bring up the matter of the Kashmir dispute again at UNSC by looking for closed consultations. At that time, a source from a P5 country had pointed out that it should be no surprise that China would want the matter revisited five to six months after the abrogation of Article 370, a move that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and triggered the debate in the first place.
What is noteworthy is that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in New York as this second bid was attempted.
He met the UN secretary general and the press release states that he welcomed the consideration of the issue for the second time in five months by the UNSC and that it “reaffirms the disputed status as per UNSC resolutions.”
India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh had said that the only dispute that now remains is the status of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Shah Mehmood Qureshi also met the President of the UN General Assembly. In what is being considered as a signal being sent out to Pakistan, the Vietnamese permanent representative Dang Dinh Quy met him not in the UNSC president office but in the mission office. Vietnam is currently holding UNSC presidency for the month.
India’s permanent representative at UN Syed Akbaruddin said, “We are glad that 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. Pakistan’s practice of using false pretences to distract from the malaise that afflict it has run its course today.”
Despite China’s second failed attempt in five months, India is bracing up for any possible developments in March when China takes over the rotational presidency at UNSC.
India is not a UNSC member currently and hectic diplomatic parleys behind the scenes by Indian diplomats have so far ensured China is unable to use its P5 status beyond getting to mention Kashmir at closed consultations.