UN discusses Indian atrocities

FM Qureshi says Kashmir recognized dispute Reiterates
solution in accordance with Security Council resolutions

NEW YORK: UN Security Council members held rare talks on the disputed region of Kashmir on Wednesday amid ongoing concerns over the flashpoint between nuclear- armed rivals Pakistan and India. United Nations Security Council held a closed-door consultation on Kashmir after a nudge from China. A reiteration for the second round of closed-door consultations was requested by China under “AOB” (Any Other Business). The meeting is based on an old request raised by Pakistan in December 2019. The 15-member body met at around in New York to consult on the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) related to political detentions and continued internet restrictions in the IoK. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun warned of “tensions” in the region and said council members heard from a UN official about the “situation on the ground” and then “exchanged views” on the divisive issue. After the meeting, senior Russian diplomat Dmitry Polyanskiy said the 15-nation body had discussed the contentious Indianadministered region, where New Delhi has been accused of abuses against its mostly-Muslim population. “Russia firmly stands for the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. We hope that differences between them will be settled through bilateral efforts based on the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration,” he said. China has long voiced concern over the situation in Indianadministered Kashmir, and said it supports Pakistan in its fight for the Kashmiris. India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in part and claim the Himalayan region in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan that have fought two wars over the territory. UN peacekeepers have been deployed since 1949 to observe a ceasefire between India and Pakistan. Long-fraught relations between the two South Asian nuclear rivals flared up further after India scrapped the special provisions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and imposed a near-complete lockdown on Aug. 5. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other major international campaign outfits have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions, release political detainees and switch all telecommunications back on. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the UN’s recognition of the situation in occupied Kashmir on Wednesday reaffirmed it is an internationally recognised dispute, adding that “final disposition [of the dispute] must be done in accordance with relevant security council resolutions and the popular aspirations of the Kashmiri people”. Qureshi’s remarks came while he spoke to the media in New York following yesterday’s meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) where the situation in occupied Kashmir was reviewed, the foreign office said in a statement issue Thursday morning. The foreign minister is currently in the United States on the third leg of his mission to defuse tensions in the Middle East, having already visited Tehran and Riyadh as part of Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts. Although the UNSC meeting on Wednesday took place behind closed doors, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun had spoken to journalists outside the chamber, confirming that the council had reviewed the situation in occupied Kashmir. “The issue of India and Pakistan is always on the agenda of the Security Council,” said the Chinese ambassador while pointing out that “recently, we have also seen some tensions.” Commenting on the meeting, Qureshi said he had previously addressed several letters to the security council, informing them of the “serious threat to international peace and security posed by India’s unilateral measures of Aug 5 in occupied Kashmir, its continuing violations of human rights [in the valley], and its belligerent posture and actions against Pakistan”. “In view of the seriousness of the situation and the risk of further escalation, our Permanent Representative was instructed to request the [UNSC] to give immediate consideration to the situation in occupied Kashmir. China echoed our request,” the statement said. Representatives from the UN and the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) briefed the council during the meeting, it added. “The UN in its briefing has confirmed [that] India’s Aug 5 measures resulted in the rise of tensions and that the local situation remains tense. Political leaders remain detained, with internet and communications blockages in place. There is also deployment across the LoC [Line of Control] — UNMOGIP is also facing restrictions on the Indian side. “The UN also reported on the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and mentioned the excessive use of force, tear gas, rubber bullets and killings. The UN secretary general is monitoring the situation. A solution should be found in accordance with the UN Charter, UNSC resolutions and bilateral agreements. “Several countries expressed serious concern regarding the situation in occupied Kashmir, including the continued curfew and blackout imposed on the Kashmiri people and the potential threat of a conflict,” the statement added. “Pakistan is gratified that the UNSC has once again decided to consider the situation in occupied Kashmir. “Such continuing international scrutiny will exert pressure on [the] Modi government to reverse its unilateral measures and stop its human rights and ceasefire violations and threats against Pakistan.” The foreign minister also had a message for the people of Kashmir. “Pakistan will continue to serve as the voice of the oppressed Kashmiris in the world. We continue to advance their inalienable right to self-determination as provided by several Security Council resolutions,” he said. Prime Minister Imran Khan in series of tweets on Thursday welcomed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) discussing the situation in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir during a closed-door meeting in New York. “Pakistan welcomes UN Security Council discussing the situation in Jammu & Kashmir again. An internationally recognized dispute, J&K remains on the Security Council’s agenda & its consideration by the Council reflects a recognition of the seriousness of the prevailing situation,” he said. Prime Minister Khan said the Kashmir dispute must be resolved in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people. “We will continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people until they secure their inalienable right to self-determination,” he reiterated. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) raised concern over the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. The UNSC met behindclosed- doors in New York discussed the grave situation in Indian occupied Kashmir for the second time in five months. After the meeting, China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun told reporters at UN Headquarters that we had a meeting on Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.