The U.N. Security Council discussed the disputed territory of Kashmir at Pakistan’s request Wednesday. Moreover, this is the third time the Kashmir issue has reached the UN floor. Since India’s Hindu nationalist government decided to end the Muslim-majority region’s semi-autonomy a year ago.
Additionally, the virtual meeting happened behind closed doors. The UNSC has so far not made any statements or taken any action after the meeting.
What is happening in Kashmir?
On Aug. 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.
Similalrly, its separate constitution has been scrapped. Its inherited protections on jobs and lands have been removed. There is a harsh security clampdown. Kashmiri leaders are in detention. Cellphone and internet services are not available. Economic ruin and anger sparked as India deployed troops to keep the province under strict hostile curfew. There is one soldier for every 11 civilians in Indian occupied Kashmir today.
Moreover, Kashmir became an issue at the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Indian subcontinent was divided into predominantly Hindu India and mainly Muslim Pakistan. With the future cast under a shadow of doubt.
In addition to this, India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over control of Kashmir. The first war ended in 1948 with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire that left Kashmir divided.
What does Islamabad have to say?
Nonetheless, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi released a statement afterwards. He said that the mere happening of the meeting signified “that Jammu and Kashmir is an international dispute firmly on the agenda of the Security Council.”
Furthermore, he called upon the international community. He said the world “should exercise its moral, legal and political authority to call out India to reverse the tide of impunity and stop the genocide of the Kashmiri people.”
Also, India’s new U.N. Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti tweeted after the meeting: “Another attempt by Pakistan fails!”
“In today’s meeting of UN Security Council which was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) was the bilateral issue & did not deserve time and attention of Council,” he wrote.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Comments about the meeting
Additionally, the Pakistani minister expressed gratitude to the 15 Security Council members, especially China, for their support in organizing the meeting in the face of India’s “desperate attempts to prevent this discussion.”
When it went ahead, Qureshi said India tried “to minimize the importance and significance of the meeting.”
Similarly, Qureshi urged India to reverse its unilateral actions, stop human rights and cease-fire violations, remove restrictions on communications, movement and peaceful assembly and immediately release Kashmir’s leaders.
The UNSC and Kashmir
Moreover, the Security Council held its first closed consultations on Kashmir since 1971 following India’s surprise action in August 2019 to change the Himalayan region’s status.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. Pakistan denies the charge and says it offers only diplomatic and moral support to the rebels.