ISLAMABAD: A briefing sought by China from the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at the Security Council had to be postponed after UN officials said that they were not ready for it.

China on Tuesday, during a closed door meeting of the Security Council, drew the attention of the members towards a letter written by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressing concern on the escalating situation at the Line of Control (LoC), and asked for a brief from the UN military observers.

There was lot of anticipation here about China taking up the matter because any briefing on the situation of LoC would have also touched upon the crisis in occupied Kashmir after its annexation by India. But that could not happen.

The Security Council had held an informal consultative session on Kashmir in August. That meeting had also been called by China after India’s Aug 5 action of abrogating Article 370, which gave the occupied region special status.

On being told that UN peacekeeping mission was not ready for the briefing, Chinese envoy Zhang Jun did not press for it and, according to a diplomatic source, he told the Council that he would later make another request for a meeting when UNMOGIP was ready for it.

Some critics believe that the move did not progress because of inadequate preparation by the Pakistani mission at New York. “Pakistani diplomats were sceptical about the prospects of the move,” a source said.

FM Qureshi, in his letter to the Security Council, had pointed to over 3,000 ceasefire violations by India, partial removal of the fence on the LoC by Delhi in five sectors, deployment of the Brahmos missile, anti-tank guided missiles and Spike missiles, and conduct of numerous missile tests since August 2019.

Mr Qureshi had contended that these Indian actions constituted threat to peace and security.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2019

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