New Delhi: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday will discuss the prevailing situation in Kashmir, following abrogation of Article 370, during closed door informal consultations 10 AM local time (7.30 PM IST). The UNSC decided to hold a closed-door consultation at the request of China.
“I can confirm that closed consultations on Kashmir have been scheduled for Friday at 10 AM. The meeting is convened upon request of China,” Council President Joanna Wronecka’s press officer Bartiomiej Wybacz had said yesterday. (Also read: China Asks UNSC For Consultation on Article 370)
Pakistan had demanded a full-fledged meeting of the Council at which it could speak on Kashmir following Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to withdraw Kashmir’s special status under Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution.
In a letter addressed to the UNSC, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that his country won’t provoke a conflict. However, “India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” he maintained.
Qureshi further said, “If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defence, with all its capabilities.” He added that “in view of the dangerous implications” Pakistan requested the meeting, Reuters reported.
Except China, all the other four permanent members of the Council have openly backed New Delhi’s position that disputes between India and Pakistan are bilateral matters, with the United States even saying that the Kashmir developments are an internal matter of India.
The other member state, Russia, has said that the action taken by New Delhi was taken under the constitutional framework. It has also repeatedly said that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and it should be resolved that way only.
China first made the request for a closed-door consultation in a letter and then brought it up on Wednesday during the Council’s informal consultations on other subjects, according to a diplomat at the Security Council.
Like Pakistan, China also has a dispute with India over Kashmir having claimed Aksai Chin in Ladakh, which it now controls. Pakistan signed a deal with China in 1963 recognising Chinese sovereignty over some areas of Kashmir it had occupied.