China yet again managed to hold an informal closed-door consultation on Kashmir in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York earlier on Wednesday, almost five months after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 in August.
The UNSC’s closed-door meeting was called to discuss an issue relating to an African country. China made a request to deliberate on the Kashmir issue under the agenda of “Any Other Business Points.”
No other UNSC member, barring China, commented on the meeting after it ended given that it was an informal consultation.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, warned against further escalation between India and Pakistan’s over Kashmir and hoped that the Security Council meeting would encourage both countries to seek a solution through dialogue.
He told reporters after the closed-door meeting that China remains “concerned about the situation on the ground” in Kashmir.
“I’m sure the meeting will help both parties to understand the risk of further escalation and encourage them to approach each other and to have dialogue and to seek means to seek solutions through dialogue,” Zhang said.
Members of the UNSC speaking on condition of anonymity said that China wanted a review of the UN observer mission in Kashmir. But an overwhelming number in the 15-member council urged for de-escalation of tension and said that the dispute is bilateral and should be resolved by India and Pakistan.
It should be noted that this is China’s second attempt to get the Kashmir issue on the agenda for consultations at the United Nations. However, it was thwarted by other members led by the United States and France.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin took to his official Twitter handle to post a picture of the Indian flag fluttering among those of other countries at the United Nations headquarters.
“Today @UN…our flag is flying high. Those that launched a “False Flag” effort got a stinging response from our many friends…,” he posted.
Meanwhile, French diplomatic sources told ANI that their country’s position remains “unchanged” and the matter must be settled bilaterally between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan media had reported that the UNSC will meet on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Kashmir.
“France has noted the request of a UNSC member to raise Kashmir issue again in this body. France’s position is unchanged — Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally as we have stated on several occasions and will continue to reiterate to our partners on UNSC,” sources said.
In December last year, France had vetoed the move to convene a meeting on Kashmir. That meeting had been called by China after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a letter to the UNSC on December 12, had expressed concern over a possible further escalation of tension between New Delhi and Islamabad after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
The UNSC had met on Kashmir in August last year, the first such meeting in decades after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
China, in the meeting, had strongly criticised the move to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.