UNSC refrains from discussion on Kashmir, says matter to be resolved bilaterally


AUGUST 5, 2020

Members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday held a closed-door informal session on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir under ‘Any Other Business'(AoB).

Sources told India Today that an AoB is a ‘closed informal session’ without any records. “Today’s meeting ended without any outcome or press elements. This is how it was the last two times too,” said the source.

In a tweet, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Tirumurti said, “Another attempt by Pakistan fails! In today’s meeting of UN Security Council which was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that J&K was a bilateral issue & did not deserve time and attention of Council.”

AoBs take place on a number of issues and there is consensus among the five permanent members not to prevent an AoB from taking place. Even China, a permanent member of UNSC, couldn’t stop a discussion on Hong Kong last May.

India Today has learnt that the meeting which was pushed by Pakistan through its all-weather friend China rendered no result. It was a ‘zero outcome’ meet. Much to the embarrassment of Pakistan.

Sources have told India Today that the US had pressed for a no outcome meet which even the Chinese side agreed on. All the other members of the Council- UK, Germany, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Indonesia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, France, Estonia and Belgium said that this is a bilateral issue and must be resolved through a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan.

The Pakistani media quoted Chinese envoy Zhang Jun as saying that there was no fundamental improvement but a risk of further escalation in the situation of Kashmir. China is seriously concerned about the current situation in Kashmir and the relevant military actions.

“We oppose unilateral actions that will complicate the situation,” the Chinese envoy said. “We call on relevant parties to exercise restraint and act prudently. In particular, they should refrain from taking actions that will escalate tensions.”

Earlier in the day, the Chinese foreign ministry had come out with similar remarks which India termed as ‘interfering in India’s internal matters’.

Responding to Beijng’s remarks, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Anurag Srivastava said on Wednesday, “We have noted the comments of the Chinese MFA spokesperson on the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“The Chinese side has no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations,” he added.

According to Pakistani media report, the Chinese mission at the UN in New York had said in a press release that the Security Council members expressed hope that relevant parties would exercise “restraint and properly resolve relevant issues through dialogue to jointly maintain regional peace and stability”.

Interestingly, China continued to remain a minority in the elite group of fifteen where many members sided with US in ensuring that there was no outcome of the meeting.

According to sources, some even went to the extent of saying that these ‘bilateral’ issues should not be brought up at the UNSC, some others referred to the Simla agreement that precisely highlights the bilateral aspect of the outstanding issues between the two parties.

Presidency of the UNSC for the month of August is held by Indonesia.

Courtesy/Source: India Today