London: The United Kingdom has ‘clarified’ that it did not back China or Pakistan during Friday’s ‘closed-door’ United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting over recent developments in Kashmir after India revoked Article 370 of its Constitution, thereby scrapping ‘special status’ of the now-former state.
According to reports, several senior British diplomatic officials said that the country neither took sides in the meeting nor did it support China against India as their long-standing position is that Kashmir should be bilaterally resolved between India and Pakistan. The officials further said that it was China, which, as a permanent member, called for the meeting and London did not have any involvement in the same.
They added that China wanted to say that the unilateral action taken by India to revoke article 370 was ‘destablising’.
The development comes after rumours on social media that the UK not only expressed concerns over the human rights situation in the Valley, it also supported China’s demand that the UNSC issue a public statement over New Delhi’s move to revoke Article 370 and further bifurcate it into two separate union territories (UTs).
On this, the officials said that they did not know where this line came from that UK backed the demand for a draft statement by China. They, however, said that there was a talk to publish a statement afterwards on which their position was that if there is an agreed position, they will consider the draft but since there was none, so no draft statement was published.
They further said that even the US and France didn’t ‘support’ India but rather took a ‘similar neutral’ stance and that it was only China that backed Pakistan.
New Delhi had also recently conveyed to London its displeasure over an anti-India protest held by Pakistani and Khalistani supporters outside the Indian High Commission in the British capital on India’s Independence Day. Large-scale violence broke out when the anti-India protesters beat up members of the Indian diaspora who were there to celebrate the occasion.