Moscow does not object to Council meeting
In a major diplomatic breakthrough for Pakistan on an international level, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will discuss India’s decision to revoke the special status of occupied Kashmir on Friday.
Speaking to reporters, the UNSC President Joanna Wronecka said, “The UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16.”
When asked about the timing of the meeting, Wronecka said, “Most probably on Friday as the Security Council would not operate on Thursday.”
The council has taken up the issue of the critical situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir after almost 50 years.
On August 13, Pakistan had asked the UNSC for an urgent meeting to meet over India’s decision to revoke the special status of occupied Kashmir, the Himalayan region that has long been a flashpoint in ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the request in a letter to UNSC President Wronecka, seeking to participate in the meeting under the agenda item ‘India-Pakistan question’.
“Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” Qureshi wrote in a letter to the UNSC.
Russian envoy to the United Nations (UN) Dmitry Polyanskiy has said his country does not object to the meeting called by Pakistan to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status of occupied Kashmir.
“Moscow doesn’t object to holding such a meeting, but the matter should be discussed behind closed doors,” Polyanskiy said while speaking to reporters.
Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry in a statement emphasised the need to de-escalate the Pakistan-India tensions on the disputed valley, stating that there is no alternative to political and diplomatic means to resolve the disputes. “There is no alternative to resolve differences between Pakistan and India accept bilaterally through political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.
The statement came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi over the phone.
The two foreign ministers discussed the situation in the Himalayan region amid worsening relations between Pakistan and India after New Delhi decided to unilaterally change the legal status of Kashmir, according to the statement.
Talking to media Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi asserted that the discussion on Kashmir in the United Nations Security Council after four decades “is a landmark diplomatic achievement.”
He said the issue was last discussed at UNSC in 1971. After that there was a cursory mention of Kashmir in 1998 when Pakistan conducted nuclear tests.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the world needs to realise that it was the matter of humanity and not a piece of land between the two countries.
He said India has put a complete clampdown on movement of Kashmiris with reports of food and medicine shortages in the held territory.
Not only international observers but also international media and members of international organisations have been barred to visit territory to gauge the severity of the situation.
The Foreign Minister said India has been perpetrating genocide of Kashmiris in a plan to change the demographic composition of population in Kashmir.
Qureshi said India has been opposing the discussion on Kashmir in the UNSC. However, we have accelerated our diplomatic efforts to mobilise the world opinion. The minister said he held in depth discussion on the issue with Foreign Minister of Poland, who is currently the President of the UNSC.