Voice of Kashmiris heard in rare UNSC meeting on Kashmir: Pakistan

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Iftikhar Chaudhry

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 16 (APP):The UN Security Council Friday discussed the “dangerous” situation in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) for the first time in over 50 years at Pakistan’s request, with China’s top diplomat saying afterwards that the 15-member body’s members voiced concern over violations of human rights situation in the disputed state and urged an end to the lockdown.

Speaking to reporters after nearly two hours of close consultations, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun also said the Council members also expressed the view that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan should be resolved peacefully through negotiations based on UN Security Council resolutions and the Charter. 

He said the Council members generally felt that India and Pakistan should refrain from unilateral actions in Kashmir. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, was “already tense and very dangerous”.

The fact that the Security Council discussed Kashmir exclusively for the first time in over 50 years is seen here as failure of India to stop such a meeting. The last such discussion was in 1965.

 “The voice of the Kashmiri people has been heard,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, who received briefings from some Council members, told reporters at the stake out. “Their voice has been heard in the highest international forum,”

“This belies India’s claims of support in the Council and it nullifies its propaganda that Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter,” she said, adding that it again confirmed the international status of the dispute.

Discussions in the meeting, she said, also reaffirmed that the Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, which call for a plebiscite, were alive and remained central to the resolution of the dispute, while also reinforcing what the OIC, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, international human rights organizations, and above all the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had said about the deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir. 

“The consensus in the Security Council for a peaceful settlement of the dispute is a clear endorsement of Pakistan’s position that this is an international dispute which must be resolved by political means and not by unilateral coercive means,” Ambassador Lodhi said. 

She said briefings were given to the Council by UN officials about the political and human rights situation as well as the volatile situation along the Line of Control (LoC).