China once again failed to achieve an outcome on the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The US, UK, France and Russia, four permanent members of the UNSC, with the backing of Germany, prevented China from getting its way on the matter in the closed-door meeting in New York on Thursday morning India time. It was the second such meeting in the UNSC on Kashmir since August 2019.
China sought a “closed-door consultation” under ‘AOB (any other business)’ at the UNSC after the listed issues were discussed. The meeting was based on an earlier request by Pakistan which was scheduled for December 24 last year but could not take place at the time.
Barring China, all other 14 members of the UNSC were of the view that this was not a matter that needed discussion at this point, people aware of the matter told ET.
India’s permanent representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said the outcome was on expected lines. “We are happy that neither the alarming scenario painted by the representatives of Pakistan nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by various representatives of Pakistan in UN fora were found to be credible,” he said.
Two countries – France and the UK – came out and categorically called it a “bilateral” issue between India and Pakistan.
Russian diplomat Dmitry Polyanskiy also said that Kashmir is a bilateral matter. “UNSC discussed Kashmir in closed consultations. Russia firmly stands for the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. We hope that differences between them will be settled through bilateral efforts based on the 1972 Simla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration,” he said in a post on microblogging site Twitter.
A French diplomat said on condition of anonymity, “France’s position has not changed and is very clear: the Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally as we have stated on several occasions.”
The US also said that the issue did not belong “here (the UNSC)”.
In the August meet, China had not only batted for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue but also raked up the issue of status of Aksai Chin, a territory which it illegally occupies in Ladakh. Later, in December, China sought to bring a proposal to bring pressure on the Special Representative talks on boundary to be held in India. Its objective was to call for a discussion in the aftermath of the Jammu and Kashmir maps released by the Indian government after bifurcation of the state on August 5.