Pakistan likely to fail in its UNSC agenda

Pakistan likely to fail in its UNSC agenda

Pakistan will sustain efforts to include Kashmir as an item on the agenda of the UN Security Council (UNSC), but is expected to face major stumbling blocks after it failed to include the issue at the Council last week.

Pakistan may find it hard to push the Kashmir issue in the formal agenda of the UNSC, ET has learnt, and it may come up for discussion only in the informal agenda of the Council, if at all.

The UN Secretary General’s reference to the Shimla Agreement as the basis for resolution of the Kashmir issue in a recent statement is propelling a number of UNSC members to deny Pakistan’s wish to put the issue on the formal agenda, ET has learnt. The Shimla Agreement of 1972 rejects third-party mediation on the issue.

The UN Secretary General (SG) did not offer to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, and instead referred to the Shimla Agreement, which is a bilateral agreement. Experts on UN affairs said the current SG, as a former politician, is well versed with the dynamics of geo-politics.

Pre-empting any move by Pakistan to involve non-UNSC members to lobby its case, the Indian mission in New York has launched a process to brief them on the rationale and benefits behind abrogating Article 370 and bifurcating the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The UN General Assembly in September has gained in significance in the current context as both the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers will address it.

India’s case has been further bolstered after UNSC permanent member Russia described the move as India’s internal matter and emphasised adherence to the Shimla Agreement. The erstwhile Soviet Union has traditionally supported India on the Kashmir issue in the UNSC since the 1950s.

Pakistan tried to include Kashmir through Any Other Business on the UNSC agenda last Thursday, but the Council did not accede to its request, in what can be viewed as a snub for Islamabad.

India had started working with each of the five permanent and 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council to checkmate Islamabad even before Pakistan formally announced it would take the matter to the UNSC.

The current non-permanent members of the UNSC are Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa. Poland holds the monthly rotating chair for the UNSC for August.