Updated: August 16, 2019 10:31:06 pm
Minutes after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a closed-door meeting on the Kashmir issue, India Friday asserted that matter related to Article 370 was “entirely an internal matter” and called on Pakistan to “stop terror to start talks”.
“Our national position was and remains that matter related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is entirely an internal matter of India. We took preventive measures in Kashmir to stop terrorists bleeding our people,” said Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council.
Defending the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status enjoyed under Article 370, Akbaruddin said the Indian government’s decision will have no external ramifications and that it was intended to ensure the promotion of good governance and enhancement of socio-economic development in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“We’re committed to gradually removing all restrictions. Since the change is internal to India, we have not made any difference to our external orientation. India remains committed to ensure that the situation there (J&K) remains calm and peaceful, he said.
India’s response came hours after China, a permanent member of the security council, said that UNSC members are concerned about the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting took place after Pakistan, backed by its all-weather ally China, requested “closed consultations” on the issue.
Beijing had approached Poland, which holds the UNSC presidency this month, to discuss Pakistan’s letter on India’s move to revoke special status for J&K and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
However, the outcome of the UNSC meeting will not be a formal pronouncement as the consultations are informal in nature. The meeting, which was open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members, was not attended by India and Pakistan.
The Council began its deliberations at 10 am (7:30pm IST) in the Security Council Consultations Room. Interestingly, the discussions are not being held at the horse-shoe table in the Security Council Chamber, which is a more formal format for meetings.
Russia’s deputy permanent representative, Dimitry Polyanskiy told PTI before entering the meeting room that Moscow’s view is that it is a “bilateral issue” between India and Pakistan. Express Editorial | Rupture in history, stitching a future
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan today discussed the Kashmir issue with US President Donald Trump over phone, reported PTI.
India diluted Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5, scrapping special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre’s move has also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
In reaction to India’s decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner soon after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi. India has categorically conveyed to the international community that its move on Article 370 was an “internal matter” and advised Pakistan to “accept the reality”.
India will also track how the 15 UNSC members proceed on the issue, and whether there are any statements issued later, especially by the five permanent members, that refer to restrictions in the Valley or human rights violations.
In a setback to Pakistan’s intentions, the consultations on its letter to the Council are closed and informal and there will unlikely be a formal pronouncement after the meeting, diplomatic sources said.
On Thursday, Russian government sources told The Indian Express that Moscow’s position remains the same as it proceeds from the understanding that differences between India and Pakistan shall be resolved on a “bilateral” basis.
(With PTI, ANI inputs)
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