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In Closed-Door Meet at UNSC Today, China Has to Explain How Kashmir Move Falls Under 'India-Pak Question'

India had already briefed envoys of other nations last Monday about the parliamentary process at the request of the diplomatic corp.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:August 16, 2019, 8:05 PM IST
In Closed-Door Meet at UNSC Today, China Has to Explain How Kashmir Move Falls Under 'India-Pak Question'
File photo of the UN Security Council (REUTERS)

New Delhi: At 7:30pm IST today, both India and Pakistan will be ironically sitting outside the room where closed consultations regarding the two countries will take place at the United Nations Security Council. Neither India nor Pakistan are presently even non-permanent members of the Security Council, but Pakistan has used its all-weather ally China to push the UNSC for this discussion. Closed consultations are strictly within member countries.

Sources conversant with the workings of the UN have explained that typically the meeting lasts two hours unless complexities demand more time. As the title suggests, deliberations in closed consultations are not made public. However, in case the UNSC feels a statement by the president or document is warranted, then all 15 members, which includes both permanent and non-permanent members, will have to agree to issue one.

One source pointed out that since this discussion has been sought under the India-Pakistan question and not other items, China will have to explain how it falls under this agenda item considering that Pakistan’s letter to the UNSC chair, Poland, takes off from abrogation of Article 370 that had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, but was a temporary provision in the Constitution.

India had already briefed envoys of other nations last Monday about the parliamentary process at the request of the diplomatic corp. Other P5 members like the US acknowledged that the abrogation of Article 370 was an internal matter. The US State Department spokesperson had said, “We note that the Indian government has described these actions as strictly an internal matter.”

When Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi dialled his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on August 14, he also said that there is no alternative to resolving differences on a bilateral basis. UK foreign minister Dominic Raab said last week said that he had spoken to the External Affairs Minister and expressed concern, but added that they had a clear readout of the situation from the perspective of the Indian government. So far, the only other P5 member that has not issued a statement is France. However, it is significant to note that France will be hosting PM Narendra Modi as a special invitee to the G7 meeting in Biarritz a week from now.

Poland, which has rotational presidency of the UNSC this month, has been a bit ambiguous, saying the matter should be resolved bilaterally. However, speaking to News18, Polish Ambassador to India Adam Borakowski also added, "As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Poland stands ready, if needed, to engage in preventing actions impacting security situation."

In New York, India would have to make all efforts to convey its stand to all member countries so there is clarity that the matter pertains to an internal process and as explained by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi this Monday “it did not impact the LoC”.

“Where India Pakistan relations are concerned, Chinese side should base its assessment on realities” and so should other countries.

A source also pointed out that there was no meeting called in the UNSC when Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari signed the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-governance) Order, 2009 so why should there be one now when all India has done is remove what was meant to be a temporary provision in the Constitution.

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