New Delhi: Strongly defending its decision to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council (UNSC), China on Friday claimed that ‘most of the members’ of the international body have voiced their concern over the situation in the Valley. China, earlier this week, had demanded discussion on Kashmir during a closed-door meeting of the UNSC in New York. Notably, that was China’s third such attempt since August 5, 2019,  when the Narendra Modi-led government scrapped the special status of the Valley, granted under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, when asked to comment why is the country (China) backing Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue in the UNSC, said, “China’s position is consistent and clear. This issue is a dispute left from history and should be properly resolved following the UN charter, UNSC resolutions, and bilateral treaties and in a peaceful way.”

He added,”As requested by Pakistan, the Security Council reviewed the Kashmir issue on January 15. The Security Council members are concerned about the current situation and they called the relevant parties to observe the charter and resolve disputes peacefully, through political dialogue and exercise restraint and work on de-escalation.”

Responding to a query on why only China, among all the members, is making such claims, whereas no other member of the body has spoken about it, Geng said, “Indeed the UNSC reviewed the Kashmir issue on January 15 and there was no statement. But China as a permanent member participated in the review meeting and what I said was in line with the review. But if you think this is not true then you can look at other sources.”

His comments came a day after India asserted that Beijing’s latest attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at the UNSC on Pakistan’s behalf has failed. “The overwhelming majority of the UNSC was of view that it was not the right forum for such issues. Pakistan’s attempt to peddle baseless allegations and show an alarming scenario failed as it lacked credibility”, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.

Commenting on India’s statement, Geng said, “India’s attitude and views, we understand them. But what I said was China’s views and stance. I believe that India is aware of that and we have been in contact on that.”

To a question on why China is raising the Kashmir issue at the UNSC, when the top leaders of India and China made efforts to improve relations through informal summits, creating a negative perception among Indians, Geng said, “Because we want to work for de-escalation and work for regional peace and stability. This is out of good will. However, if the Indian side interprets it in other way, that will be a wrong interpretation.”

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had echoed similar remarks and had stated that the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, which is internationally recognised, must be resolved in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people.

He had also asserted that his government will continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people until they secure their inalienable right to self-determination.

“J&K dispute must be resolved in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions & 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 had said in a series of tweets.

(With agency inputs)