Thursday Jan 16, 2020
NEW YORK: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) met for the second time in less than six months behind closed doors to discuss the alarming situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
In August last year, the Security Council had met for the first time in over five decades, to discuss the critical human rights situation in the occupied valley.
After the meeting, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun spoke to journalists confirming that the Security Council had met to review the situation in the occupied valley.
“We had a meeting on Jammu and Kashmir,” Jun said, adding the 15-member Council was briefed by the UN secretariat on the situation on the ground.
The Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Political and Peace-building Affairs briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in Kashmir, followed by a discussion on the situation among Council members in which all of them participated.
China has long voiced concern over the situation in occupied Kashmir and had requested the UNSC along with Pakistan to hold the meeting. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also attended the UN meeting in New York before jetting off to Washington later in the evening.
The Chinese envoy said Qureshi had penned letters to the Security Council drawing its attention to the situation in Kashmir, where the people were suffering under a repressive military lockdown with all communications links cutoff since August 5.
“The issue of India and Pakistan is always on the agenda of the Security Council," the Chinese ambassador said, pointing out that "recently, we have also seen some tensions”
When asked what was China’s position on the situation in Kashmir, Jun said, “Our position is very clear. China regards Kashmir as a territory disputed between India and Pakistan and supports UN resolutions calling for the exercise by Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through a UN-supervised plebiscite.”
“I am sure the meeting helped both parties to understand the risk of further escalation and will encourage them to approach to each other and to have dialogue and to seek means to seek solutions through dialogues,” he added.
Senior Russian diplomat Dmitry Polyanskiy who also attended the session tweeted after the meeting that the 15-member body had discussed the contentious Indian-administered region, where New Delhi has been accused of abuses against its mostly-Muslim population.
“UNSC discussed Kashmir in closed consultations,” said Polyanskiy. “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 added.