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Pakistan’s efforts to raise Kashmir issue turns out to be futile at UNSC

Pakistan’s efforts to raise Indian government’s decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations were thwarted on Friday as China’s initiative to discuss the matter at the United Nations Security Council found no takers.

China had asked for informal closed-door UNSC consultations on how to react to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s letter. However, China and Pakistan found no support at the 15 membrs of the Security Council on Friday.

The consultations took place without the presence of representatives of India and Pakistan since it is a consultation process it will not be part of the UNSC record.

Had the members arrived at a conclusion to discuss the matter formally, it would have been debated and voted at the UN.

Earlier, even as closed-door consultations were underway, Russia – one of the permanent members of the block – said it hoped Islamabad and Pakistan settle the issue bilaterally.

“Russia continues to consistently promote normalisation of India-Pakistan ties. We hope that existing divergences around Kasmir will be settled bilaterally by political and diplomatic means only on the basis of Simla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore declaration of 1999, in accordance with UN Charter, relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN said.

“We are friends and good partners with both #India and #Pakistan and both peoples. We have no hidden agendas. So we will open-heartedly continue to engage with Islamabad and New Delhi in order to help both of them come to terms and have good neighbourly relations,” Polyanskiy said.

The informal consultations, currently underway at the UNSC, will see the exchange of views among the UNSC members on Pakistan’s Foreign Minister SM Qureshi’s letter to UNSC President, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka on Kashmir in the aftermath of New Delhi’s decision to remove the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister asked the letter to be disseminated at the earliest and that a meeting of UNSC should be called but so far no such call has been taken. Pakistan is keen to have a meeting in which it gets the right to speak and record the discussion that takes place.

Last week, a letter written by Qureshi on August 6, a day after government’s announcement on Jammu and Kashmir was not taken in any of the UNSC meetings.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called over phone US President Donald Trump just before UNSC’s informal consultations were scheduled to begin at 10 am New York time.

Sources in Pakistan government said Khan telephoned Trump ahead of the UNSC consultative session to apprise him on the situation.

The phone call lasted for 17 minutes, they said.

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