Pak­istan wants UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to Meet Over In­dia Moves in Kash­mir

Fiji Sun - - Asia News - Reuters

Pak­istan has asked the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to meet over In­dia’s de­ci­sion to re­voke the spe­cial sta­tus of Jammu and Kash­mir, the Hi­malayan re­gion that has long been a flash­point in ties be­tween the nu­cle­ar­armed neigh­bours.

The move by In­dia blocks the right of the state of Jammu and Kash­mir to frame its own laws and al­lows non-res­i­dents to buy prop­erty there. Tele­phone lines, in­ter­net and tele­vi­sion net­works have been blocked since the Au­gust 5 de­ci­sion and there are re­stric­tions on move­ment and as­sem­bly.

“Pak­istan will not pro­voke a con­flict. But In­dia should not mis­take our re­straint for weak­ness,” Pak­istan’s For­eign Min­is­ter Shah Mah­mood Qureshi wrote in a let­ter to the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil seen by Reuters.

“If In­dia chooses to re­sort again to the use of force, Pak­istan will be obliged to re­spond, in self de­fense, with all its ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” he said, adding that “in view of the dan­ger­ous im­pli­ca­tions” Pak­istan re­quested the meet­ing.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear how the 15-mem­ber coun­cil would re­spond to the request and whether a mem­ber of the body would also need to make a for­mal request. Pak­istan said on Satur­day it had China’s sup­port for the move. Poland is pres­i­dent of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil for Au­gust.

Pol­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Jacek Cza­putow­icz told re­porters at the United Na­tions on Tues­day that the coun­cil had re­ceived a let­ter from Pak­istan and “will dis­cuss that is­sue and take a proper de­ci­sion.” The Hi­malayan re­gion is di­vided be­tween In­dia, which rules the pop­u­lous Kash­mir Val­ley and the Hindu-dom­i­nated re­gion around Jammu city, Pak­istan, which con­trols a wedge of ter­ri­tory in the west, and China, which holds a thinly pop­u­lated high-al­ti­tude area in the north.

UN com­ments

United Na­tions Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res has called on In­dia and Pak­istan to re­frain from any steps that could af­fect the spe­cial sta­tus of Jammu and Kash­mir. Mr Guter­res also said he was con­cerned about re­ports of re­stric­tions on the In­dian side of Kash­mir. The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil adopted sev­eral res­o­lu­tions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dis­pute be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan over the re­gion, in­clud­ing one which says a plebiscite should be held to de­ter­mine the future of the mostly Mus­lim Kash­mir.

An­other res­o­lu­tion also calls upon both sides to “re­frain from mak­ing any state­ments and from do­ing or caus­ing to be done or per­mit­ting any acts which might ag­gra­vate the sit­u­a­tion.” UN peace­keep­ers have been de­ployed since 1949 to ob­serve a cease­fire be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan in Jammu and Kash­mir.

Photo: Reuters

Chil­dren play with toy guns next to In­dian se­cu­rity force per­son­nel dur­ing re­stric­tions af­ter the scrap­ping of the spe­cial con­sti­tu­tional sta­tus for Kash­mir by the gov­ern­ment, in Sri­na­gar, on Au­gust 13, 2019.

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