The UN Security Council will discuss the Kashmir issue after China called for a closed-door meeting. Pakistan had written to Poland protesting India’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of its Constitution. Earlier, France had responded to Pakistan’s request, suggesting that a discussion be held in a ‘less formal manner’.
ThePrint asks: Should India worry about China and Pakistan pushing the UNSC on Kashmir?
UNSC likely to ask India & Pakistan to resolve Kashmir conflict bilaterally & not issue new resolution
Former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, UAE & Oman
This is not something India should worry about — it is a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). China’s first reaction after the abrogation of Article 370 was to ask India and Pakistan to exercise restraint. Poland’s foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz too has said the Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan has mainly used the UNSC resolution on Kashmir to serve its domestic interests, and the international community has been fully aware of it. Pakistan enjoys no credibility in the international community; it is known for using violence as a tool to further its gains.
In the context of the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration, India and Pakistan made a commitment to discuss and resolve their differences bilaterally. This mutual understanding leaves no scope for any third-party involvement. Both these agreements clearly maintain that issues between the two countries must be dealt with through peaceful means. And the reason why India and Pakistan have not improved their relations is because the latter has not stopped using violence.
The two documents supersede everything that happened during 1948-49. The UN is quite disinterested in raking up its old documents on the Kashmir issue. The international body is likely to ask the two countries to resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally. In any case, no resolution will likely come from the closed-door meeting because the UNSC’s permanent members will veto it.
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India should make efforts to prevent UNSC from issuing any statements after the meeting
Executive council member, VIF, and former foreign secretary
China has again demonstrated to what extent it is willing to support Pakistan. China’s move is an act of provocation that will help Pakistan bring international attention to the Kashmir issue. Pakistan can then raise confrontation levels with India and instigate separatists in the Valley.
After 1965, this is the first time that the Kashmir issue has been inscribed on the UNSC agenda. When Pakistan integrated the autonomous territory of Gilgit-Baltistan in 2009, the UNSC did not discuss the step. With China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in the region, China has already violated the UN resolutions on Kashmir.
India should use its diplomatic resources to prevent the UNSC from issuing any statement after the closed-door meeting. India’s best bet would be to hope that at least one or all the other four permanent members veto anything tabled during the meeting. India could count on France, especially since PM Narendra Modi is expected to visit the country in less than two weeks from now.
India need not worry about China and Pakistan’s moves as it is capable of defending its national interest. What is important is that India needs to diplomatically retaliate against China. This can be done by either inviting a Taiwanese minister officially or asking Dalai Lama to speak in New Delhi about Tibet and that should be attended by a minister.
World has rejected India’s plea to treat J&K as its internal matter. This should worry Modi govt
Former foreign secretary of Pakistan, and former high commissioner of Pakistan to India
India and Pakistan’s diplomatic brawl over Kashmir has been before the UN for more than half a century now. The fact that the Security Council has taken up this issue in the wake of distress in Kashmir reflects the nature of this dispute, and this has put international peace and security at risk.
India’s plea to the international community to treat the Kashmir issue as an internal matter stands rejected. So yes, India should worry about its global standing in the world.
Unilateral actions and a brutal crackdown on Kashmiris have turned out to be costly and are likely to be prohibitive.
This will have implications for India’s Narendra Modi-led government. PM Modi speaks of ‘one nation, one constitution’, but is India one nation or an assemblage of nations? And is it fair to impose the ideology of Hindutva in a multi-faith, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country like India? Hype and hyper-nationalism can only get one so far.
Pakistan sees the Kashmir issue in terms of the fundamental rights of the Kashmiris. This is in line with what the UNSC decreed more than fifty years ago. Kashmiris will continue their struggle for the restitution of their basic rights irrespective of the outcome of the UNSC meeting. We have no illusions about the limitations of the UN’s efficacy.
India can take some comfort here, but in the larger historical context, the Modi government has initiated a process that will likely endanger prospects of peace, harmony and prosperity in South Asia.
China and Pakistan’s move at the UNSC is just a little nudge to alert the international community about what might unfold next —dark clouds and thunder.
J&K is India’s internal matter. And China knows better than to seriously heed Pakistan’s request
Zorawar Daulet Singh
Author of Power & Diplomacy: India’s Foreign Policies During the Cold War, and Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research
China has been taken aback by India’s decision to strengthen its sovereign authority over Jammu and Kashmir after Pakistan waged a prolonged proxy war against us. However, Beijing will be cautious for several reasons. First, the balance of power is in India’s favour. Any unfriendly move by China will be stymied by Russia and probably by other permanent members as well. None of them wants to jeopardise their ties with India.
Second, since 2018, India and China have proactively stabilised their relationship, and Beijing would not like to disrupt this engagement especially when it is already facing other challenges. Third, India has reassured the international community that the re-organisation of J&K is an internal matter, it will have no bearing on regional and international stability or the territorial status quo in the subcontinent.
It would be ironical and dangerous for Beijing to seriously entertain Pakistan’s petition that legitimises the idea of interference in another country’s internal affairs. In short, China can do little more than just provide token diplomatic support to Pakistan.
No one has the appetite for another international confrontation – not UN, not US, not even China
Former Indian ambassador to US
The international community’s response to the abrogation of Article 370 has been muted because it realises that the issue is India’s internal matter and the move complies with our legal and constitutional framework. The two exceptions are China and Pakistan. Pakistan suspended trade with India, while China took a more nuanced stance on the issue — while still supporting Pakistan.
Until now, no Muslim-majority country has supported Pakistan because there’s a realisation that the Kashmir issue is only between India and Pakistan. The entire situation has been handled fairly well by Indian diplomats. There is also a fair bit of UN fatigue on this matter. The issue was discussed in the UN but never reached a solution. And now even the UN is prepared to disassociate itself from the issue because it realises that Kashmir is a bilateral concern between India and Pakistan.
Moreover, other countries have their own set of problems. The US is too busy with its trade war with China and withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. China is also struggling with the Hong Kong protests, which is more urgent than Kashmir. In West Asia, the situations in Yemen and Syria is also bleak. In short, no one has the appetite for another international confrontation.
India is happy to consider bilateral talks only if Pakistan stops sponsoring cross-border terrorism.
If China wanted to seriously embarrass India, it would have asked for an open meeting at the UNSC instead
National & Strategic Affairs Editor, ThePrint
The closed-door consultations at the UNSC on Kashmir is the closest India has come to witnessing an internationalisation of the Kashmir issue since the 1999 Kargil conflict.
But India should hold its nerve. There is enough evidence to show that China is mounting this pressure only on behalf of its ‘client state’ Pakistan, and might be willing to arrive at a compromise with India for several reasons.
First, China is hardly in a position to throw stones at another country when it lives in a Tibet-Xinjiang glasshouse riddled with human rights violations. Second, Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting India in October and would not like to up the ante with its host nation just a few weeks before.
Third, China owes Pakistan for allowing it to build an economic corridor and giving it a key foothold in South Asia. One should notice that China asked for a closed-door meeting — if it wanted to embarrass India seriously — it would have asked for an open meeting at the UNSC.
Certainly, India is a far more powerful nation today than it was at the time the Kargil conflict broke out. The world will be willing to give it a much longer rope, especially as it sees Pakistan as the epicentre of terrorism.
This is why India must address the crisis within at the earliest. The announcement by authorities in Srinagar Friday afternoon that schools will be soon opened and the gag on media and phone lines lifted will go a long way in telling the world that India has things under control in Jammu and Kashmir.
By Revathi Krishnan and Taran Deol
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