UNSC to hold only closed-door talks on Friday on Kashmir

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United Nations, Aug 15 : The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is set to hold a closed door meeting on Friday to discuss India’s decision to revoke Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the present situation in the Valley, on the request of China, Pakistan’s close ally .

The closed consultations on Kashmir will be held at 10 a.m. The meeting is convened upon request of China.

Pakistan had asked for a full-fledged meeting of the Council at which it could speak on Kashmir following New Delhi’s decision to rescind Kashmir’s special status under Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

After India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) special status on August 5 and announced the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, Pakistan announced that it will approach the UN Security Council against New Delhi’s decision.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi formally called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India’s decision to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. He also said that New Delhi’s decision was “illegal and against the UN resolutions”.

Qureshi claimed that China backed the country on the issue and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang told him he believed “China will stand up for justice on the Kashmir issue”. Following Pakistan’s request, China also submitted a formal request with the UNSC for a meeting.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had urged India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Antonio Guterres had also highlighted the Simla Agreement, which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.

The format of the Security Council meeting as a closed-door consultation would preclude non-members participating and the proceedings would be secret, without official written records or access to the media or being broadcast.

China also has a dispute with India over Kashmir having claimed Aksai Chin in Ladakh, which it now controls. Pakistan signed a deal with China in 1963 recognising Chinese sovereignty over some areas of Kashmir it had occupied.

China first made the request for a closed-door consultation in a letter and then brought it up on Wednesday during the Council’s informal consultations on other subjects, according to a diplomat at the Security Council.

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