A day after China prompted the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to discuss the Kashmir issue in a closed-door meeting, India “firmly” rejected the Chinese initiative and reiterated Kashmir is a domestic issue, with veteran diplomats demanding that South Block launch a campaign to remove Kashmir from the agenda of the Council.
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“As on previous occasions, this attempt too met with little support from the international community. We firmly reject China’s interference in our internal affairs and urge it to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press statement.
The Chinese move came on the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370, which led to the creation of the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and ended the ‘special status’ for the region. China initiated a similar move on August 16 last year when it revived “The India-Pakistan Question” at the UNSC. The issue had not been taken up at the council since it last figured in the world body before the India-Pakistan war of 1971. The meeting had failed to generate a common statement or a consensus on the matter.
Beijing’s bid in Jan.
China attempted a similar move in January this year as well but it did not attract sufficient support from the UNSC members.
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The frequency of the attempts by China to take up the Kashmir issue at the UNSC has prompted diplomats to highlight the unequal nature of the top organisation of the U.N. where the agenda is set by the permanent members (P5) of the UNSC.
Former Indian Permanent Representative to the U.N., Asoke Mukherji called for “better coordination” to defeat the power of veto used by the P5.
“Such informal meetings will remain an irritant until the Jammu and Kashmir issue is taken off the UNSC agenda. This should be a priority for the government and for countries in the P5 that have consistently backed India but haven't yet pushed to take the issue of the agenda entirely”, said Mr. Mukerji. Kashmir has been on the agenda of the UNSC since January 1948.
Following Wednesday’s development at the UNSC, India’s Permanent Representative at the U.N. T.S. Tirumurti described the move as an “attempt by Pakistan” that failed. “In today’s meeting of U.N. Security Council, which was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that Jammu and Kashmir was bilateral issue and did not deserve the time and attention of the council,” he said.
Apart from taking up the Kashmir issue at the UNSC, China also spoke about the issue through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, where its spokesperson described India’s August 5, 2019, decision to abrogate the “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir as an “illegal” act.
In a tough response, the MEA said China had “no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations”.