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IOK world recognised dispute, UNSC agenda: Qureshi

Top Story

January 17, 2020

NEW YORK: Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is an internationally recognized dispute that has been on the agenda of United Nations Security Council for seven decades, said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here on Wednesday.

In a tweet after permanent members of the UNSC met behind closed doors for consultation on various issues including Kashmir, Qureshi said, "Today's discussions have once again reaffirmed the IOK’s international dispute status and the urgency to resolve it in accordance with UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people."

He urged the international community to play its due role in helping the Kashmiri people. This was the second time in the last five months that Kashmir was brought up in the UNSC meet.

China's UN Permanent Representative told reporters that the 15-member Council discussed situation on ground, and that Kashmir has always been on UNSC agenda.

"I am sure the meeting helped both parties [India and Pakistan] to understand the risk of further escalation and will encourage them to approach each other and to have dialogue and to seek means to seek solutions through dialogues,” the Chinese envoy said.

Qureshi arrived at the UN headquarters later in the afternoon and met with the Secretary General as well as President UN General Assembly.

He raised issues related to the regional situation in the Middle East and South Asia in his meetings.

“In my meetings with President UNSC, President UNGA & UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, I emphasized the humanitarian crisis and the reign of terror unleashed on innocent Kashmiris by India since 5 August 2019,” the foreign minister said in a separate tweet.

Meanwhile, U.N General Secretary’s office said in a statement that the Secretary “reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia through political dialogue, diplomatic solutions and respect for human rights.”

Briefing the media later, Qureshi was of the view that instead of offering any mediation Pakistan wants de-escalation in tensions between Iran and the US. He also briefed the UN officials on Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan.

The foreign minister reached Washington later in the evening where he will stay for two days and hold meetings with National Security, Department of Defense, and State Department officials including Secretary Mike Pompeo.

Meanwhile, in a tweet, the foreign minister said, “For the second time in 5 months, UNSC members were briefed on the situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir at the request of Pakistan and with support of China. Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute that has been on the agenda of the UNSC for seven decades. Today’s discussions have once again reaffirmed its international dispute status and the urgency to resolve it in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.”

“We will continue to advance the Kashmiris inalienable right to self-determination as provided by several Security Council resolutions”, he added.

Later in a statement released by his office he added that in view of the seriousness of the situation and the risk of further escalation, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative was instructed to request the Security Council to give immediate consideration to the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

“China echoed our request. The UN in its briefing has confirmed the India’s August 5 measures resulted in the rise of tensions and that the “local situation” remains tense. Political leaders remain detained, internet and communications blockage (are) in place. There is also deployment across the LoC – UNMOGIP is also facing restrictions on the Indian side”, he added.

Taken aback, India in a statement asked China to avoid raising the Kashmir dispute at the UNSC, saying this was a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India.

“China should reflect on a global consensus on Kashmir and avoid raising it at the United Nations,” India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi.

The UN also reported on the human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and mentioned the excessive use of force, tear gas, rubber bullets and killings.

“The UN Secretary General is monitoring the situation. A solution should be found in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements”, noted the foreign minister.

He said several countries expressed serious concern regarding the situation in occupied Kashmir, including the continued curfew and blackout imposed on the Kashmiri people and the potential threat of a conflict.

“The item on India-Pakistan Question remains on its agenda, and the Council remains seized of this matter. Such continuing international scrutiny will exert pressure on Modi Government to reverse its unilateral measures and stop its human rights and ceasefire violations and threats against Pakistan,” said the minister.

Later in his meetings with President UNSC, President UNGA and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, he emphasized the humanitarian crisis and the reign of terror unleashed on innocent Kashmiris by India since August 5, 2019.

Pakistan notes that the item on India-Pakistan question remains on the UNSC agenda, and the Council remains seized of this matter.

“We hope that such continuing international scrutiny will exert pressure on Modi Government to reverse its unilateral measures and stop its human rights and ceasefire violations and threats against Pakistan”, said Qureshi.

Later during the weekly media briefing, the Foreign Office spokeswoman giving details of the UNSC meeting said that the session which was attended by all 15 members of UNSC was convened on the request of Pakistan, and with the support of China. The discussions lasted over an hour in which all Council members participated including the P 5 countries.

In the closed meeting of the Council on 15 January, UN and UNMOGIP representatives briefed the Council members and confirmed that India’s 5th August measures have resulted in the rise of tensions and that the “local situation” remains tense. Political leaders remain detained, internet and communications blockage (are) in place. There is also deployment across the LoC. UNMOGIP continues to face restrictions on the Indian side.

“During the discussions, several countries including P-5 countries, expressed serious concern regarding the situation in occupied Kashmir, including the continued curfew and blackout imposed on the Kashmiri people and the potential threat of a conflict”, she said.

The foreign minister underscored that persistent war mongering and aggressive rhetoric from Indian political and military leadership was a threat to regional peace and security with profound risk of miscalculation.

“He urged the Security Council to act decisively to prevent a disastrous war between Pakistan and India; to call for an end to the grave human rights violations in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and to enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their right to self-determination promised to them in the resolutions of the Security Council”, said the spokeswoman.

Foreign Minister Qureshi also held talks with the President of UN General Assembly, Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and exchanged views on a range of issues including developments at the global and regional levels. It was agreed that the United Nations remained an indispensable institution for advancing dialogue, cooperation and pursuing collective solutions to global challenges including poverty alleviation, access to education, agriculture, illicit financial flows, climate change and achievement of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.