A United Nations Security Council meeting in session | Photo: Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will for the first time in more than four decades hold closed-door consultations on the Jammu and Kashmir issue Friday, following India’s decision to revoke the special status of the state.

Although this is not seen as a welcome development for India as it maintains Kashmir is a bilateral issue with Pakistan, analysts said the consultations are not expected to amount to much.

The meeting is taking place at the behest of China that wanted all 15 members of the UNSC to discuss the recent move taken by the Modi government to scrap Article 370 and 35A from Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state.

“It won’t amount to much, especially as most permanent UNSC members won’t be supportive of further action. Still, for India, which doesn’t want any internationalisation of the issue at all, even this informal consultation among UNSC members will not be a welcome development,” said Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of Asia Programme and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Washington-based think tank Wilson Centre.

The closed-door meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, which will be held in complete secrecy, has been proposed by Security Council President Joanna Wronecka of Poland. Poland currently holds the UNSC Presidency, which is accorded on a rotation basis.

This is one of the “rarest of rare” occasions when the UN will be discussing the Kashmir dispute that was and continues to remain of the root causes of animosity between India and Pakistan since Partition in 1947.

What happens at UNSC closed-door consultations?

In a ‘closed-door consultation’, the proceedings of the meetings are not recorded nor is a public statement made. But if the UNSC does issue a statement, it won’t augur well for India while Pakistan’s lobbying efforts and its long-standing intention to take up Kashmir at the UN high-table will be surely be seen as a diplomatic victory for Islamabad.

According to official sources, a press note can be issued at a later date but that will require the assent of all five permanent UN members — US, UK, France, Russia and China.

This is the first time since December 1971 that India-Pakistan question has been used for a closed-door UN meet. It was not used in 2009 when Pakistan integrated Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan.

Since the 1972 Simla Agreement, India has maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan that laid guidelines for solving the issue between both countries.

Why China wants a closed-door meeting on Kashmir

Being an all-weather ally of Pakistan and a strategic partner, China decided to rake up the issue at the UN based on a letter that Pakistan has sent to the council.

Beijing wanted to discuss the matter as part of the formal consultation process but it was opposed by France and hence it was decided to be taken up as part of the closed-door talks, sources told ThePrint.

The closed-door consultations were expected to take place Thursday but since the schedule for that day was already finalised and the Kashmir issue came up at the last moment, members decided to hold the consultations Friday, sources added.

Except for China, all other members have by and large maintained that the Kashmir issue is an internal matter of India and that any kind of intervention is not required even as the international community urged both New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise restraint.

In his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi earlier this week, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had apprised Beijing that the constitutional change was India’s domestic matter and that it does not alter issues relating to sovereignty. He had also told China that the move would neither affect the Indo-Pak Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan nor will it change the Line of Actual Control (LaC) between India and China, sources said.

China, on the other hand, had told New Delhi that it continues to remain concerned on the issue and its adverse fallout on the security and stability of the region. China is also upset with the changes made to Ladakh.

A week before Jaishankar’s visit, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in Beijing and urged China to take up the issue at the UNSC. Islamabad has called India’s move “unilateral and illegal”.

Also read: Don’t live in fool’s paradise, hard to get support against India: Qureshi tells Pakistan

What will happen at the meeting?

All 15 members of the UNSC (five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members) will be part of the meeting but not India and Pakistan as they are not part of the UNSC.

The council will be briefed by United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina, and the UN Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations Carlos Humberto Loitey.

“The meeting is expected to toe the UNMOGIP line where India is seen as a recalcitrant party and non-cooperative … The main issue is that like in January 1948, India is not in the chamber when council discussion will take place,” a former Indian Ambassador the UN, who refused to be named, told ThePrint.

Also read: Kashmir remains shut for 12th consecutive day, govt employees told to return to work


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12 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Talks,Talks Talks, If there is anything to talk , it is about when pakis will hand over POK & Gilgit Balistan, and part they gifted to China back to India as Maharaja signed it all over to India. Not a darn thing else.

  2. Why can’t india bring up Hong Kong, Uighur Muslims, Tibet, etc. in the international forums. For years, India has been way too passive and mostly defensive esp with reference to China. Why are we afraid. We got to give them the same crap they throw at us. Needs an attitude change.

  3. Simply don’t understand, why can’t we just sit across the table and sort it out. The amount of resources both India and Pakistan have wasted, could have lifted millions and millions of ppl out of poverty. Its mind boggling, how stupid we are in the subcontinent. No wonder this region has thr most poor livi ng in thr developed world.

    • Nice try😀
      I can post a long reply or just say go eff yourself😀

      Terroristan has become Bhikaristan. India is the least of the problems facing Terroristan. Assess your other problems.

  4. Despite all the noise the separatists used to make, despite all the gun-toting by the terrorists, the Kashmiris VERY CLEARLY showed that they were, deep down in their hearts, PRO INDIA by their one single gesture – – the way they used to enthusiastically participate in the elections that were conducted by the Indian government. This was demonstrated by more than 50% participation in such elections despite threats and calls for boycott.

    If a referendum was conducted then, with choice between India and Pakistan, most Kashmiris would have voted to go with India.

    Then things started changing a few years ago when Modi government conducted Panchayat elections. No Kashmiris wanted to contest, no body wanted to come out for voting. Participation in those elections were 6-7%.

    People are saying that the UN deliberations have no meaning. It well might be true. But if a referendum is conducted today, again with the choice between India and Pakistan, my fear is that the Kashmiris this time around will choose Pakistan.

  5. While it is no surprise for China to back Pakistan, there is also the fact that Amit Shah, perhaps unwittingly, needled China by saying that India is committed to taking back Aksai Chin, besides PoK, to the extent ‘jaan bhi de denge’. Even if the meeting doesn’t cause any problem for the India, the government will have to remain alert about the next Chinese move.

  6. It may be purely symbolic, but the issue of Kashmir is returning to the UNSC after fifty years. 2. More substantive is the effect on India – China relations. FS Kanwal Sibal – in his column in Mail Today – has speculated this might endanger the informal summit planned at Varanasi.

    • The good news is timid traitors like you are a minority. You will be defeated election after election.
      You should move to Pakistan and enjoy the blasphemy laws and pay jizya tax or something.

    • I do not think China wants to open their books on Xinjiang muslims , or Tibet or Hong Kong etc.. in UNSC , may be Trump will bring that up..

  7. Countries like Pakistan and China discussing human rights and freedom etc😂.

    Paki should discuss Uighur Muslim rights with Chinks. Or they can talk about ethnic cleansing in Occupied Pakistan, Occupied Tibet, Occupied Xinjiang.


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