- In a letter to UN, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi sought their intervention to “ensure that India returns to full compliance of all UN resolutions by reversing all steps that interfere with the settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute”
- The UNSC president dropped the Pakistani request and refused to answer questions on it
NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: Pakistan was on Friday rebuffed on all fronts in its effort to seek international mediation and intervention in its campaign against New Delhi’s move to turn Article 370 into a dead letter and bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two Union territories. While the biggest setback for Islamabad on Thursday came in the form of a United Nations’ virtual rejection of its August 6 appeal, it was no less of a jolt for Pakistan that it got a tepid response from China — its all-weather ally — on its lobbying on the Kashmir front.
Some deft diplomatic moves by India ensured that the UN Security Council refused to “take cognisance” of Pakistan’s letter to its president, asking for intervention after India’s Kashmir move.
In a letter on August 6 addressed to UNSC president and Polish diplomat Joanna Wronecka and UN General Assembly president Maria-Fernanda Espinosa Garces, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi sought their intervention to “ensure that India returns to full compliance of all UN resolutions by reversing all steps that interfere with the settlement of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute”.
The crux of the Pakistani argument was that India had carried out an “unofficial annexation” of J&K, which was a “material change of the situation” and a contravention of UNSC Resolution 48 of 1948.
India informed the UN that Article 370 was incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954, six years after the UNSC resolution and was revoked in 2019. Both happened after the UNSC resolution, so if the first did not signal a “material change”, neither could the second.
The UNSC president dropped Pakistan’s request and refused to answer questions on it. “The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement which states that the final status of Jammu & Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the UN Charter,” the UN said.
Although Pakistan tried to spin the statement as referring to “Indian-administered Kashmir”, the UN’s view of J&K is of an undivided state, including parts occupied by Pakistan.
According to a UN spokesman, Secretary-Gene- ral Antonio Gutteres called on “all parti
es to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kas- hmir”, a formulation that wo- uld also include changes Islamabad has effected on POK.
Guterres urged all parties to “exercise restraint”, his spokesman said, adding, over the past few days, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) “has observed an increase in military activity” along the LoC.
Pakistan also got no comfort in Washington, where a State Department spokesperson said there was no change in the US policy on Kashmir, which calls for direct, bilateral talks. The US also doubled do- wn on endorsing its strategic ties with India by announcing that deputy secretary of State Sullivan will travel to New Delhi and Thimphu “to advance the US partnership with two nations that are critical to preserving the rules-based order in the #IndoPacific region”.
Beijing too denied any support to Islamabad and told Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who air-dashed there to seek its support on Kashmir, that it regarded both India and Pakistan as “friendly neighbours” and wants them to resolve the issue through UN resolutions and the Simla agreement.
Qureshi had held talks with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi during which he said he believed “China will stand up for justice on the Kashmir issue”, a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry said. “It should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UNSC resolutions and bilateral agreement,” Wang said.
(With PTI inputs from Beijing)