United Nations: India on Friday told Pakistan that it has to stop terrorism to start talks as the UN Security Council held a rare closed-door meeting to discuss revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Briefing the media following the conclusion of the informal meeting requested by China and Pakistan, Indian envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said India’s position was and remains that matters related to Article 370 of the Constitution are entirely an internal matter of India and these have no external ramifications.
Without naming Pakistan, he said there are some who are trying to project an “alarmist approach” to the situation in Kashmir, which is far from the ground realities.”Stop terror to start talks,” Akbaruddin asserted. On the Chinese and Pakistani envoys briefing the media after the meeting, he said, “For the first time after the end of Security Council consultations, we noted that two States (China and Pakistan) who made national statements tried to pass them off as the will of the international community.”
Akbaruddin said India is committed to gradually removing all restrictions in Kashmir. He said India remains committed to ensure that the situation in Kashmir remains calm and peaceful. “We are committed to all the agreements that we have signed on this issue. We note that there were some who tried to project an alarmist approach to the situation, which is far from the ground realities.”
“Of particular concern is that one State is using the terminology of jihad and promoting violence in India, including by their leaders. Violence is no solution to the problems that all of us face,” Akbaruddin said, taking a swipe at Pakistan. Earlier, briefing the media, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said the voices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were heard today at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council, the highest diplomatic forum of the world.
“They are not alone, their voices have been heard, their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, their occupation and the consequences of that occupation has been heard in the UN Security Council today,” Lodhi said. Maleeha Lodhi said that the very fact this meeting had taken place is “testimony to the fact that this is an internationally recognised dispute”.
The outcome of the UNSC meeting will not be a formal pronouncement as the consultations are informal in nature. India and Pakistan did not attend the meeting, which was open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.
According to UN records, the last time “the Security Council addressed the dispute between India and Pakistan over the territories of Jammu and Kashmir” under agenda item ‘The India-Pakistan question’ was in 1965.
On 5 August, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir and has also bifurcated the State into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Reacting to India’s decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner soon after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi. India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.