Kashmir and Article 370 to loom over UNGA meeting

Vishal S

New Delhi, Sep 09: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is leaving no stone unturned to internationalise Kashmir issue post Article 370's abrogation and the UNGA meeting later this month gives him perfect platform to raise the pitch.

Not just inside the UN assembly, Khan's party, the PTI, is also said to be mobilising community members to protest against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York during the summit. Both PM Modi and his Pakistani counterpart are expected to address the UNGA on 27 September.

India's decision to revoke Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the state in two Union Territories cought Pakistan off-guard. Ever since, Islamabad has been critising India's August 5 decision almost on a daily basis and urging the international community to intervene in the matter. At Pakistan's behest, China, Islamabad's all-weather-ally, even called for a closed door UNSC meeting on the Kashmir issue but almost all the major powers took stand that the matter was between India and Pakistan, and should be resolved bilateraly.

With barely two weeks left for UNGA meeting, the Modi government does not want to leave anything to chance when it comes to dealing with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue at the UNGA. For this, External affairs minister S Jaishankar will be preparing the diplomatic groundwork ahead of Modi's UNGA visit later this month, reports said.

Jaishankar will reach Houston on September 21 before Prime Minister Modi's address to the Indian diaspora on September 22.

"For the next four days till Modi leaves New York after addressing the UN General Assembly on September 27, Jaishankar will accompany the PM and firefight any allegations raised by Pakistan, especially by its prime minister Imran Khan during his UNGA address," a Hindustan Times report quoted one of the officials as saying.

Meanwhile, Khan will embark on a four-day visit to the US on September 23. He will hold meetings with his Malaysian counterpart as well as other world leaders on the sidelines of the General Assembly session, besides meeting representatives from the Pakistani diaspora and business community in the states Khan's General Debate speech at the UNGA is scheduled for September 27.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will expose India in his speech at the UN General Assembly next month.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution that gave the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

Some reports claim that Pakistan may organise protests against India in New York during PM Modi's visit.

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