China gets UNSC to talk Kashmir in informal, closed-door meeting
16 August 2019
In a partial victory for the China-Pakistan axis, the United Nations Security Council has agreed to hold a closed-door consultative meeting on the Kashmir issue tonight.
Pakistan considers China's success in managing to schedule a closed-door consultative meeting on the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council as a diplomatic triumph, although China is saying it is a process-driven event that will have no formal outcome.
India, however, is unperturbed as there is no formal outcome, no resolution, no votes, and no records are maintained of a closed-door meeting.
Indian sources said the Chinese move to seek an informal closed-door meeting is intended to save Pakistan’s face as there was no traction for a formal meeting from any of the Security Council members.
"Tomorrow on our request UNSC meets on India's unilateral move and the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir. We will continue to take voice of Kashmir to every capitol (sic)," an excited Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted.
An earlier, off-the-cuff comment by US President Donald Trump had given Pakistan a flicker of hope that it will get a hearing in the international fora, but both in the US capital and Trump since fine-tuned it to be conditional to both parties seeking it, blunting Islamabad’s threat of US intervention.
Kashmir is a case long sidelined by the UN and the UNSC’s disinterest was evident when the current President of the UNSC, Poland's Joanna Wronecka, simply ignored a question on the subject and walked away at a press briefing.
In Washington, the state department spokesperson brushed away efforts by Pakistani journalist to buttonhole the subject. Even lawmakers evinced little interest in the subject despite Pakistan's efforts to drum up support.
In fact, two US lawmakers, Eliot Engel and Robert Menendez, who are key foreign relations players, actually asked Pakistan to refrain from any "retaliatory aggression" against India and take "demonstrable action" against terrorist groups within its territory.
India is taking a quiet, low-key approach to sensitising key players to Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorism through infiltration to radicalise and destroy its secular and plural fabric.
Kashmir, meanwhile, remained shut for the 12th consecutive day on Friday, even as the authorities relaxed restrictions on the movement of people in Srinagar.
Although the deployment of security forces on the ground remained as earlier, people were allowed to move around the city and other towns.
Kashmir was placed a under a total clampdown on August 5, hours before Union home minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the special status for the state had been revoked.
The state administration has directed government employees to report to work from Friday through a radio announcement.
However, the communication clampdown continues as all telephone and Internet services remained suspended.
While schools are closed for the past two weeks, shops and other business establishments too remained shut since 5 August.