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Published On: Thu, Aug 15th, 2019

China backs Pakistan’s request for UNSC to discuss Kashmir

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download (15)UNITED NATIONS :The UN Security Council (UNSC) is to hold closed-door consultations on the Kashmir developments on Friday at the request of China, a diplomat at the Security Council told IANS on Thursday.
The diplomat said that China’s request for the meeting was made in a letter and came up during the Council’s informal consultations on Wednesday. The format of the meeting as a closed-door consultation would preclude Pakistan participating in it, the diplomat said.
As a closed-door meeting, the consultation’s proceedings would be secret, without being broadcast or accessible to reporters. China wanted the consultations to take place on Thursday, but since the schedule was already set for the day without any meetings, it was to be taken up on Friday, the diplomat said.
The diplomat said that the office of the Security Council President Joanna Wronecka of Poland was working out the details for holding the meeting and when it was to be held. Pakistan had asked for a meeting of the UNSC on Kashmir following India’s decision to rescind Articles 370 and 35A of its Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a special status.
Except for 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 US even saying that the Kashmir developments are an internal matter of India.
The consultations on Wednesday were on Syria and Central Africa, but China brought up the Pakistani request made in a letter to the Council. Other sources said that France and China differed at the meeting on how the Kashmir issue should be discussed.
Meanwhile, China on Wednesday backed Pakistan’s request for the United Nations Security Council to discuss India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, asking for the body to meet behind closed doors on Thursday or Friday, diplomats said.
The August 5 decision by India blocks the right of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to frame its own laws and allows non-residents to buy property there. Telephone lines, internet and television networks have been blocked and there are restrictions on movement and assembly.
“Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Tuesday. “If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defence, with all its capabilities.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to refrain from any steps that could affect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Guterres also said he was concerned about reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir.

The UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of the mostly Muslim Kashmir.

Another resolution also calls upon both sides to “refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation”.
UN peacekeepers have been deployed since 1949 to observe a ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
(With Inputs from Agencies).

 

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