UNSC meet on Kashmir reflects seriousness of regional situation, says PM Imran

Published January 16, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meets United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Foreign Office
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meets United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Foreign Office

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the consideration of the situation in occupied Kashmir by the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) "reflects a recognition of the seriousness of the prevailing situation".

The premier's remarks follow a meeting of the UNSC on Wednesday during which the situation in occupied Kashmir was reviewed, the Foreign Office said in a statement issued on Thursday morning.

In a tweet, the premier said: "Pakistan welcomes UN Security Council discussing the situation in Jammu & Kashmir again. An internationally recognized dispute, J&K remains on the Security Council’s agenda & its consideration by the Council reflects a recognition of the seriousness of the prevailing situation."

In a subsequent tweet, the prime minister said that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute must be resolved in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people.

"We will continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people until they secure their inalienable right to self-determination," he added.

Although the UNSC meeting on Wednesday took place behind closed doors, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun had spoken to journalists outside the chamber, confirming that the council had reviewed the situation in occupied Kashmir.

“The issue of India and Pakistan is always on the agenda of the Security Council,” said the Chinese ambassador while pointing out that “recently, we have also seen some tensions.”

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while speaking to the media in New York, said that the UN's recognition of the situation in occupied Kashmir on Wednesday reaffirmed it is an internationally recognised dispute, adding that "final disposition [of the dispute] must be done in accordance with relevant security council resolutions and the popular aspirations of the Kashmiri people".

The foreign minister is currently in the United States on the third leg of his mission to defuse tensions in the Middle East, having already visited Tehran and Riyadh as part of Pakistan's diplomatic efforts.

Commenting on the UNSC meeting, Qureshi said he had previously addressed several letters to the security council, informing them of the "serious threat to international peace and security posed by India's unilateral measures of Aug 5 in occupied Kashmir, its continuing violations of human rights [in the valley], and its belligerent posture and actions against Pakistan".

"In view of the seriousness of the situation and the risk of further escalation, our Permanent Representative was instructed to request the [UNSC] to give immediate consideration to the situation in occupied Kashmir. China echoed our request," the statement said.

Representatives from the UN and the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) briefed the council during the meeting, it added.

"The UN in its briefing has confirmed [that] India’s Aug 5 measures resulted in the rise of tensions and that the local situation remains tense. Political leaders remain detained, with internet and communications blockages in place. There is also deployment across the LoC [Line of Control] — UNMOGIP is also facing restrictions on the Indian side.

"The UN also reported on the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and mentioned the excessive use of force, tear gas, rubber bullets and killings. The UN secretary general is monitoring the situation. A solution should be found in accordance with the UN Charter, UNSC resolutions and bilateral agreements.

"Several countries expressed serious concern regarding the situation in occupied Kashmir, including the continued curfew and blackout imposed on the Kashmiri people and the potential threat of a conflict," the statement added.

"Pakistan is gratified that the UNSC has once again decided to consider the situation in occupied Kashmir.

"Such continuing international scrutiny will exert pressure on [the] Modi government to reverse its unilateral measures and stop its human rights and ceasefire violations and threats against Pakistan."

The foreign minister also had a message for the people of Kashmir. "Pakistan will continue to serve as the voice of the oppressed Kashmiris in the world. We continue to advance their inalienable right to self-determination as provided by several Security Council resolutions," he said.

Qureshi meets UN chief

During the first day of his visit to the US, Qureshi also met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

"I thanked the Secretary-General for his continuing efforts to address the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and the threat to peace in South Asia," the foreign minister said in his statement.

"I briefed the secretary general on Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to defuse [...] tensions between Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US following recent events.

"Pakistan has affirmed that it will not participate in any conflict in the region. It will be a partner for peace. To defuse tensions and promote peace, I visited Tehran and Riyadh earlier this week and will visit Washington tomorrow," his statement read.

Qureshi also met the president of the security council, Dang Dinh Quy, Radio Pakistan reported, adding that the foreign minister informed the president about the impact of India's five month-long clampdown in the occupied valley.

He also stressed that India's "persistent war mongering and aggressive rhetoric" posed a threat to regional peace and security, the report said, adding that Qureshi urged the UNSC to act decisively to prevent a war between the two countries.

The foreign minister also held talks with UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the report said.

India says UNSC meet reprimands Pakistan

On the other hand, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, took away a different outcome from the meeting.

Taking to Twitter, Akbaruddin stated: "Those that launched a 'False Flag' effort got a stinging response from our many friends [...]."

Speaking to NDTV, he said, "Pakistan's practice of using false pretences to distract from addressing the malaise that afflicts it, has run its course today".

"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," the report quoted Akbaruddin as saying.

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