UNSC meeting “advocates right to self-determination to Kashmiris” – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan on Saturday considered latest meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Jammu and Kashmir as “a reaffirmation of the council’s past resolutions advocating the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.” In a tweet, Premier Khan welcomed the UNSC meeting held a day earlier, noting that it was for the first time in over five decades that the world’s highest diplomatic forum had taken up the issue of Kashmir and the serious situation prevailing there.

“There are 11 UNSC resolutions reiterating the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. And the UNSC meeting was a reaffirmation of these resolutions,” the premier said.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a press conference on Saturday stated that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UNSC have both responded positively to Pakistan’s calls to take notice of India’s recent actions in Kashmir.

“The issue was raised in the UNSC after five decades and a discussion took place on the matter that is a major development, especially since India tried its utmost to keep it from happening,” said Qureshi.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the UNSC should consider itself responsible for helping resolve the Kashmir dispute.

The statements came a day after UNSC had on Friday held a meeting exclusively on Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since 1965. The UNSC meeting was called after the efforts by Indian government to revoke disputed Kashmir’s special status with a presidential order earlier this month.

The order revokes Article 370 of India’s Constitution, which gives the state of Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except for defense, communications and foreign affairs. The article also barred the citizens outside the Kashmir region to permanently settle, buy land, hold government jobs and secure educational scholarships.

Although the meeting took place behind closed doors in New York, the Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, spoke to reporters outside the chamber following deliberations, urging both India and Pakistan to “refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate” what was an already “tense and very dangerous” situation. Also speaking to reporters outside the chamber, Pakistan?’s Ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi said the meeting had allowed “the voice of the people of the occupied Kashmir” to be heard “in the highest diplomatic forum of the world.” She said “the fact that this meeting took place, is testimony to the fact that this is an international dispute.” For his part, India?’s Ambassador, Syed Akbaruddin, said that “our national position was, and remains, that matters related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, are entirely an internal matter of India…The recent decisions taken by the Government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, socio-economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.” He said that the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir had announced measures which would return the region towards a state of “normalcy.” “India remains committed to ensure that the situation there remains calm and peaceful. We are committed to all the agreements that we have signed on this issue.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency