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UNSC to hold ‘closed door’ meeting on India’s Kashmir move today, first in 54 years

  • News Desk

    The Statesman/Asia News Network

New Delhi, India   /   Fri, August 16, 2019   /   02:02 pm
UNSC to hold ‘closed door’ meeting on India’s Kashmir move today, first in 54 years German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas (C) attends a United Nations Security Council meeting on August 13, 2019 in New York. (AFP/Johannes Eisele)

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will meet today to discuss India’s move to revoke Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, days after Pakistan wrote a letter on the issue to the world body.

UNSC President Joanna Wronecka told reporters on Wednesday said that they would discuss “the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors on August 16″.

Poland, which currently holds the council’s rotating presidency, has listed the matter for discussion at 10:00 am (1930 IST), diplomats told AFP.

It  is extremely rare for the Security Council to discuss Kashmir, which has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947.

The last time there was a full Security Council meeting on the Himalayan region was in 1965.

Friday’s discussion is not considered a full security meeting but rather referred to as closed-door consultations, which are becoming increasingly more common, diplomats said.

The development comes after Pakistan wrote a formal letter to the UNSC president calling for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The letter was sent through Permanent Representative Maleha Lodhi to convene the meeting.

The UNSC has, however, declined to hold a formal session on Kashmir with Pakistan’s participation, and instead scheduled a closed-door consultation.

Pakistan had asked for a full-fledged meeting of the Council at which it could speak on New Delhi revoking Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution.

China, Pakistan’s all weather-ally had formally asked for “closed consultations” in the United Nations Security Council to discuss the Kashmir move.

China had earlier “assured Pakistan of its support and commitment” and announced that it supported Islamabad’s decision to approach the UN Security Council in the wake of India’s decision to scrap Article 370 of its Constitution.

However, India has categorically told the international community that its move to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter and has also advised Pakistan to “accept the reality”.

The Indian Parliament on August 6 revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and approved bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

India had earlier briefed the UN Security Council’s five permanent members — US, Britain, France, China and Russia — on the abrogation of Article 370 and had explained that the changes made were to a “temporary” article.