UN Security Council to discuss Kashmir’s dispute on the formal Pakistan’s call today

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday (today) in New York will meet over India’s moves in occupied Kashmir following a formal request by Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a letter to UNSC President Joanna Wronecka under the agenda item ‘India-Pakistan question’.
The session is being considered as a big success for Kashmir and Pakistan as the debate is happening after decades.
Pakistan had called on the U.N Security Council to convene an urgent meeting on India’s decision to revoke autonomy for the disputed Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, a move it says could spark a new conflict between the two South Asian nuclear powers.
In a statement, Qureshi said he had written a letter to the UNSC president, asking the latter to convene an emergency meeting of the council to discuss India’s “illegal actions” that also “violate UN resolutions on Kashmir”.
India’s recent actions “pose a threat to international peace and security, willfully undermine the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu & Kashmir,” and violate the human rights of the Kashmiri people, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote in the letter.
There is a “clear and present danger” that India will provoke a conflict with Pakistan to divert attention from its recent actions, Qureshi said. “Pakistan will not provoke a conflict, but India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” the letter read.
“If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defence, with all its capabilities,” he claimed, adding that “in view of the dangerous implications” Pakistan requested the UN Security Council meeting.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said world’s silence on developments in occupied valley akin to appeasing Hitler.
Pakistan has drawn the attention of the United Nations Security Council presidency to the grave threat to peace and security in South Asia after India annexed occupied Kashmir and called for summoning an emergency meeting of the council to discuss the rapidly aggravating situation.
Qureshi had also called his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz to discuss the request for convening the UNSC session on Kashmir.
The Polish foreign minister had said a dispute between countries could only be resolved through dialogue, as also called for by the European Union. He had stressed that, as a rotating chair of the UNSC, Poland would closely monitor developments in the region and maintain regular contact with the partners.
There are 11 UN resolutions on Kashmir, with three specifically pertaining to the status of the occupied region.
Qureshi had said Pakistan believed that India’s unilateral action of revoking the autonomous status of Kashmir not only threatened regional [peace], but also the world peace.
The foreign minister had last week visited Beijing to consult the Chinese leadership on Pakistan’s plan to take the issue to the Security Council.
Chinese Minister Wang Yi had assured Qureshi of full support on the move.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says discussion on Kashmir in the United Nations Security Council after four decades will be a landmark diplomatic achievement.
Talking to the state-run Pakistan Television, the Foreign Minister said the issue was last discussed at UNSC in 1971. After that there was a cursory mention of Kashmir in 1998 when Pakistan conducted nuclear tests.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the world needs to realize that it is the issue of humanity and not a piece of land between the two countries. He said India has put a complete clampdown on movement of Kashmiris with reports of food and medicine shortages in the held territory. Not only international observers but also international media and members of international organizations have been barred to visit territory to gauge the severity of the situation.
Foreign Minister said India is perpetrating genocide of Kashmiris in a plan to change the demographic composition of population in Kashmir.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India has been opposing the discussion on Kashmir in the UNSC. However, we have accelerated our diplomatic efforts to mobilize the world opinion.
The Minister said he held in depth discussion on the issue with Foreign Minister of Poland who is currently the President of the UNSC. Foreign Minister said he also took his Russian counterpart into confidence regarding the developments. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan will continue raising the issue at all international forums to highlight the plight of Kashmiris.
Earlier, Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov today and took him into confidence over Pakistan’s stance on the longstanding dispute.
Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan would continue raising the issue at all international forums to highlight the plight of Kashmiris.
According to the statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO), the Foreign Minister briefed Lavrov on the illegal and unilateral steps taken by the Indian Government to change the disputed status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and its demographic structure. He said that these steps by India were against the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the International Law.
The minister highlighted the severe hardships faced by the people of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the face of unprecedented lockdown of the entire population.
Lavrov underlined the importance of resolution of all outstanding issues through dialogue and peaceful means. The two leaders agreed to continue to work together for peace and stability in the region.
Meanwhile, Russian envoy to the United Nations (UN) Dmitry Polyanskiy has stated that Russia does not object to holding of [United Nations Security Council] meeting requested by Pakistan to discuss India’s move of revoking the special status of occupied Kashmir.
“Moscow doesn’t object to holding such a meeting, but the matter should be discussed behind closed doors,” Polyanskiy said while speaking to reporters.
The UNSC has already granted Pakistan’s request to discuss India’s decision of scrapping the special status of occupied Kashmir on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, emphasised the need to de-escalate the Pakistan-India tensions on the disputed valley, stating that there is no alternative to political and diplomatic means to resolve the disputes.
“The situation in South Asia was discussed amid the worsening relations between Pakistan and India after New Delhi changed the legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Russian side emphasized the need for de-escalation of tensions, and that there is no alternative to resolve differences between Pakistan and India except bilaterally through
political and diplomatic means. Representatives of Russia to the UN adhere to this consistent position,” Russia said in a statement.
The statement came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The two foreign ministers discussed the situation in the Himalayan region amid worsening relations between Pakistan and India after New Delhi decided to unilaterally change the legal status of Kashmir, according to the statement.
Meanwhile Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has termed the UN Security Council call for a session on Jammu and Kashmir dispute as a diplomatic victory of Pakistan.
In a series of tweets Thursday, she said Russia has also endorsed the demand of Pakistan and civilized world is taking notice of Modi government s unilateral and illegal action.
The Special Assistant said session on Kashmir dispute by UNSC is a big blow to Indian claim that Kashmir is their internal matter. – NNI

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