United Nations ,August 16 (NDTV/Express Tribune/newsin.asia): The five permanent members of the UN Security Council on Friday met at a closed-door session and exchanged views and perceptions on the on-going crisis in Kashmir and the India-Pakistan tension that followed it. India and Pakistan, not being members of this exculsive group, were not in the meeting.
India’s Representative in the UN said that his country’s national position was and remains that matters related to Kashmir are “entirely an internal matter”, after a rare closed door meeting at the United Nations Security Council to discuss New Delhi’s move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was called after Pakistan — backed by its all-weather ally — China, requested “closed consultations” on the issue.
Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Security, said the government is committed to gradually removing all restrictions in Kashmir and the government is undertaking steps towards normalcy.
“Prevention is better than cure. Measures we took were preventive in nature. These efforts sometimes lead to restrictions. There was not one fatality,” Mr Akbaruddin told reporters at the UN.
“These have no external ramifications, the recent decisions taken by the Government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, social economic development is enhance for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.
Taking a swipe at Pakistan, Mr Akbaruddin said Islamabad should stop terror and start talks. He said Pakistan was trying to project an alarmist approach to the situation which is far from ground realities. “Of particular concern is that one state is using terminology of ‘jihad‘ against and promoting violence in India including by their leaders,” he said.
The outcome of the UNSC meeting will not be a formal pronouncement as the consultations are informal in nature. India and Pakistan did not attending the meeting, which was open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.
The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations said that members of the UNSC generally feel both India and Pakistan should refrain from taking unilateral actions over Kashmir. The situation in Kashmir is “already very tense and dangerous,” said Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun. He referred to the human rights violations taking place there and also noted that the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir has been internationally recognized.
China is a permanent member of the UNSC and a close ally of Pakistan.
On August 5, India ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, and said it would be split into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Russia’s deputy permanent representative, Dimitry Polyanskiy told reporters before entering the meeting room that Moscow’s view is that it is a “bilateral issue” between India and Pakistan.
He said the meeting was being held to understand what is happening. “That’s what closed consultations are for. What does Russia think the next step should be- we favour bilateral track between India and Pakistan. You know our position. It hasn’t changed. Today, we have closed consultations and we will just exchange opinions and see what we can do and what we cannot do. It is a normal process.”
Pakistan’s permanent envoy to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi has said the Security Council’s meeting is testament that Kashmir issue is not an internal matter of India but an international issue.
Briefing the media along with the Chinese envoy to the United Nations after the UNSC meeting convened on Friday to discuss New Delhi’s illegal move of depriving Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, she said there was an effort to cancel this meeting and we are grateful to all member states for having it.
Dr Lodhi said that all the 15 permanent and non-permanent member states attended the consultative session today, adding that the meeting was briefed on the latest developments and the dismal human rights situation in Occupied Kashmir.
“This is the first but not the last step we have taken on aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir. We’ll continue our efforts to peacefully resolve this issue,” she remarked.
Dr Lodhi said the voice of the people of Occupied Kashmir has been heard today in the highest diplomatic forum.
“They are not alone… their voices have been heard, and their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, occupation of their land and the consequences of that occupation has been heard in the UN Security Council today,” she added.
aid India’s unilateral step has aggravated the situation in the region.
The meeting was called amid the heightened tensions between Pakistan and India following the abrogation of Occupied Kashmir’s special status in the first week of August.
New Delhi ended the autonomous status of the Muslim-majority territory on August 5, stepping up movement restrictions and cutting off phone and internet access to head off civil unrest, and igniting calls from Pakistan for the international community to intervene.
Kashmiris protested against the Modi government’s highly provocative move after Friday prayers earlier in the day. Police fired tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to disperse residents who tried to march down the main road in Srinagar.
Protesters hurled stones and used shop hoardings and tin sheets as improvised shields, as police shot dozens of rounds into the crowd.
Moreover, four Pakistan Army soldiers have also been martyred in unprovoked Indian fire along the LoC since Thursday which was retaliated effectively resulting in the killing of five Indian troops, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with United States President Donald Trump and took him into confidence over United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on India’s “illegal” Kashmir move.
In a televised statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the premier also reached out to four out of five heads of permanent member states of the Security Council over the issue. “We are also trying to contact the French president so that his country understands our position,” he added.
(The featured image at is a map showing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council-namely, US, UK, France, Russia and China)