India’s Ambassador to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin is receiving plaudits online for his symbolic gesture of “hand of friendship” towards Pakistani journalists in Geneva. Akbaruddin was briefing the media after UNSC’s closed-door meeting on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
During the brief, when one of the Pakistani journalists asked when will India beginning a dialogue with Pakistan, the diplomat replied, “so, let me start by coming across to you and shaking hands. All three of you.” Without any hesitation, he instantly left the dais and walked up to each of the scribes shaking hands.
“So, let me tell you, we’ve already extended our hand of friendship by saying we are committed to the Simla Agreement. Let us wait for a response on that from the Pakistani side,” he added while walking back to the podium.
“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,” Akbaruddin said to the UN Security Council.
His calm and composed demeanour and dignified response to the Pakistani journalists caught attention online and the small clip quickly went viral online, with many including journalists and political analytics lauding him for his gesture.
What a great composer and reaction by @AkbaruddinIndia when #Pakistani Journalist tried to be aggressive with questions after the closed door consultatioms at the #UNSC. #Pakistan
& #China failed to get even an informal statement from UNSC
Well done #India. #PakHumiliated https://t.co/ZZMuGavBlo
— Umesh Upadhyay (@upadhyayumesh) August 17, 2019
Amazingly composed, charming performance by Syed Akbaruddin, India’s ambassador at UN, on #Kashmir. Great show on a difficult wicket.
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) August 16, 2019
— Kishan Singh Tomar (@KishanSinghTom4) August 17, 2019
I must say that Syed Akbaruddin ji’s articulation was fantastic…superb. https://t.co/Yj7oMgnpZL
— Bimal Prasad Pandia (@bimalpandia) August 17, 2019
Dignified and assertive.
— यू पी का लौंडा 🇮🇳 (@indianwhale) August 17, 2019
— Kriti Goenka (@Kritygoenka) August 17, 2019
— Desi dalmatian wale BaBa (@garamlocho) August 17, 2019
— shashank kumar (@Shashank2b) August 17, 2019
Diplomacy, like a boss https://t.co/YOYsvWUCJE
— Rishabh Garg (@rishabh_r_garg) August 17, 2019
I am not from India but gotta say he is damn smart guy
— Gypsy (@RajibSa87090530) August 16, 2019
We as an Indian are proud of Syed Akbaruddin. I our country we have unity in diversity. Pakistani learn from us the real meaning of leaving together with having different religions and respecting them.
— Srivaa (@Srivaa1) August 16, 2019
“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 had said.
Earlier, China’s envoy to the UN Zhang Jun said UNSC members were “concerned about the human rights situation there and also it’s the general view of members that parties concerned should refrain from taking any unilateral action that might further aggravate the tension.”
Rebutting the Chinese envoy’s claim, India’s Permanent UN Ambassador also said Zhang Jun was trying to pass off his own remarks as “the will of the international community”. However, barring China, no other UNSC member commented on the meeting after it ended as it was an informal consultation.
US President Donald Trump, who received a call from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan before the UNSC meeting, said India and Pakistan must reduce tensions over J&K through bilateral dialogue.
The UNSC decided to hold “informal consultations” on J&K after China approached Poland, which holds the UNSC presidency this month, to discuss Pakistan’s letter on India’s move to revoke J&K’s special status and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.