PM Imran takes Trump into confidence ahead of UNSC meeting on Kashmir

Published August 16, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan and  US President Donald Trump. — White House Flickr/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump. — White House Flickr/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan, ahead of the United Nations Security Council meeting on Indian-occupied Kashmir, had a telephonic conversation on Friday with US President Donald Trump to brief him about Pakistan's stance on the issue.

"The prime minister conveyed Pakistan's position to him [President Trump] and took him into confidence," said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a video statement broadcast on television moments before the meeting went underway.

"Pakistan, like always, is committed to the peace process. The role we have played is for the betterment of the region and the steps we have taken are for the mutual benefit of Pakistan and Afghanistan and for peace and stability. We will continue to take such steps," he said.

He said that direct contact had been established with four out of five permanent members of the Security Council and they are aware of Pakistan's viewpoint.

The UNSC, for the first time in 50 years, held an exclusive meeting on Kashmir.

The Security Council held the consultative meeting in New York to discuss Pakistan's request to debate on India's act of abolishing the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The closed door meeting commenced at about 7pm (Pakistan time) to discuss how to proceed further on the issue.

The UN political department briefed the council on the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Qureshi had written a letter to the president of the Security Council seeking a meeting of the highest world body after India abolished Article 370 and Article 35A of its constitution, depriving occupied Kashmir of a special status. Later, China supported Pakistan's request for holding the meeting.

Pakistan and India did not attend the meeting because neither of them was a member of the Security Council.

Besides five permanent members — the United States, China, Britain, France, and Russia —10 non-permanent members, Belgium, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa participated in the meeting.

A day earlier, Pakistan’s UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi said, “We hope the security council discussion will be guided by the statement of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who has voiced concern over the situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”

The meeting was called by China on Pakistan’s request to discuss the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir.

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