Rebuffing Pak, UNSC again says Kashmir bilateral issue

United Nations: The UN Security Council on Wednesday rebuffed another attempt by Pakistan to raise Kashmir at the august body, and made it abundantly clear this is an issue for India and Pakistan to resolve bilaterally, as has been India’s position. Four of the five permanent members — the US, UK, France and Russia — sided firmly with India, as has become a practice, reported Hindustan Times.

“In today’s meeting of UNSC, which was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that J&K was bilateral issue & did not deserve time and attention of Council,” said TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, in a tweet.

Pakistan had sought a discussion on Kashmir — for the third time since last August — in a letter to the council which, as some diplomats said, “was match-fixed” to coincide with the first anniversary of the revocation of the Article 370. And China, batting for its “all-weather friend”, made it happen as it had before, calling for a discussion under Any Other Business practice, which allows any member to raise an issue for discussion.

But they couldn’t fix the outcome. “They chose the date carefully but it proved to be a short-sighted move as everyone else came to India’s support,” said a UN diplomat who had monitored the meeting closely. “Most members felt this needs to be resolved bilaterally and it does not deserve to come to the security council, and there was a sense that this was a waste of the body’s time.”

This time Pakistan and China had the support also of Indonesia, which holds UNSC’s rotational chair for August. In the end, however, Indonesia came through for India, according to one of the diplomats cited above, as it agreed with others that the dispute needed to be resolved bilaterally.

Pakistan has sought open and formal meetings of the council to grandstand its Kashmir case, but has had to settle for this closed-door version; now for the third time starting August 2019, shortly after the change in status of Kashmir.

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