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Home » UNSC to talk Kashmir in informal, closed-door meeting tonight; Pakistan excited, India unperturbed | India News
TimesofIndia International

UNSC to talk Kashmir in informal, closed-door meeting tonight; Pakistan excited, India unperturbed | India News

WASHINGTON: India is unperturbed over China’s success in managing to schedule a closed-door consultative meeting on the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council on Friday, saying it is process-driven event that will have no formal outcome, even as Pakistan is presenting it as a major diplomatic triumph.
On the contrary, Indian sources said, there was no traction for a formal meeting from any of the security council members, resulting in China seeking an informal closed-door meeting to save Pakistan’s face. Typically, no state objects to an informal meeting because there is no formal outcome, no resolution, no votes, and no records are maintained, they added.
Pakistan though exulted in getting the subject on the agenda even through an informal meeting, believing it will lead to greater interest in an area the UN has long cast to the backburner. “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),” Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted.
Read also: On China’s call, UNSC to hold closed-door J&K talks
But both in the US capital and on Capitol Hill, there is barely a flicker of interest after President Trump’s off-the-cuff offer of mediation (since fine-tuned to be conditional to both parties seeking it) sent Pakistan’s hopes soaring. Islamabad has also ramped up its efforts to leverage its geography to seek US intervention, bluntly threatening that it will withdraw forces from its Afghan border and redeploy it on the Indian border because of its perceived threat from India even as its economy is on the verge of collapse and it needs US support to revive it.
Despite this, most of the belligerent war talk, including scenarios of nuclear holocaust, genocide, massacres etc has been emanating from Pakistan, which Indian diplomats say with an eye-roll and shrug, is standard operating procedure by Islamabad to seek world attention. “We don’t think there is a groundswell of interest in this. If there was, the UNSC would have gone into emergency meeting. The fact that only one country asked for it is a signal…that there is no appetite for what Pakistan is pushing,” one official said.
The UN disinterest was evident even in the body language of the current President of the UNSC, Poland’s Joanna Wronecka, who simply ignored a question on the subject and walked away at a press briefing. In Washington too, the State Department spokesperson brushed away efforts by Pakistani journalist to buttonhole the subject.
Few US lawmakers have evinced any interest in the subject despite Pakistan’s efforts to drum up support. Last week, two US lawmakers Eliot Engel and Robert Menendez, who are key foreign relations players on the Hill, actually asked Pakistan to refrain from any “retaliatory aggression” against India and take “demonstrable action” against terrorist groups within its territory, while expressing concern over the human rights situation in Kashmir.
While Pakistan is raising the issue to a fever pitch, including sponsoring demonstrations that turned violent in London on Thursday, India is taking a quiet, low-key approach to sensitising key players to Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism through infiltration to radicalize what was essentially a syncretic state in an effort destroy its secular and plural fabric, a decades long effort that led to the current situation.
The Indian side is also quite sanguine about Islamabad’s exertions on the Security Council resolutions, which the more discerning interlocutors know actually directs Pakistan to vacate the portion of Jammu and Kashmir that it invaded and occupied, before any plebiscite can be envisaged. The relevant resolution, which was non-binding in the first place, is now largely seen as infructuous given Pakistan’s actions since, including effecting demographic changes, ceding territory to China, and initiating terrorist and military infiltration — notably during Kargil incursions leading to war.
Indian sources strategizing on the issue over social media, which is also the scene of verbal skirmishes, believe the more Pakistan embarks on this course of raising the Kashmir pitch in the international arena, the more it will be embarrassed as facts about its support to terrorist groups and its war-mongering come to light. Pakistan’s nuclear alarmism, they believe, also casts it as an unstable entity.
India’s ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, put the issue in context for the western audience, explaining in a Fox News interview last week that the unrest was confined to the Kashmir Valley and was of a temporary nature, with elections and financial infusion to follow. India was home to 200 million Muslims who thrived in its democracy and did not support ISIS or al-Qaida. Implicit in the smackdown was the suggestion that Pakistan, which sheltered Osama bin Laden, was the agent provocateur bent on destabilisng the region.

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