France, US block China move on J&K at UNSC

Shubhajit Roy
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In August, China had objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty.

For the third time since August, Beijing raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council late Wednesday night. Vietnam, which is the UNSC President for the month of January, allowed the issue to be brought up by China.

However, members of the UNSC, including France and the US, blocked the attempt by China for a discussion on the Kashmir issue. Sources said the plan was to tell Beijing that this is not the appropriate forum.

“Today @UN ...our flag is flying high. Those that launched a “False Flag” effort got a stinging response from our many friends...,” tweeted Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, late Wednesday night.

The closed-door meeting of the UNSC was called to discuss issues related to Mali, an African country, and China made a request to discuss the Kashmir issue under the agenda of “Any Other Business Points”.

Since Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is in New York, he was likely to push for Pakistan’s case with the UNSC member-states.
At the time of going to press, details of the meeting were awaited. The move by China is third such attempt since August when the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked by the government, and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.

Diplomatic sources said that France has noted the request of a UNSC member to raise the Kashmir issue once again in the powerful body and it is going to oppose it like it did on a previous occasion. French sources said that the Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally (between India and Pakistan). The sources said this has been stated on several occasions, and it will continued to be reiterated to partners in the UN Security Council.

This is the third time, China, Pakistan’s ‘all-weather ally’, has demanded discussion on the Kashmir issue. In August, China had raised it in an informal and closed-door consultations, but the meeting did not lead to any outcomes. In December again, France, US, UK and Russia — the remaining P-5 members — had foiled an attempt by China to discuss Kashmir at a meeting of the UNSC. Beijing withdrew its request.

In August, China had objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty. It also expressed “serious concern” about the current situation in the region. Delhi had responded to Beijing. MEA spokesperson had said, “India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise.”