India rejects China’s call for UNSC meeting on Kashmir as ‘interference in internal affairs’
Terms Turkey's comments on J&K incorrect, biased
New Delhi: After China initiated another discussion on Kashmir at the UN Security Council (UNSC), India on Thursday asserted that it had “met with little support” from the international community and reiterated that Beijing should “draw proper conclusions from infructuous attempts”.
Earlier from New York, India’s permanent representative to UN, T.S. Tirumurti had tweeted, “Another attempt by Pakistan fails! In today’s meeting of UN Security Council (UNSC) which was closed, informal, not recorded, and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that J&K was bilateral issue & did not deserve time and attention of Council”.
He was referring to the third meeting of UNSC member states held behind closed doors in the one year since India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status – all of them initiated by China. The first one was held on August 16, 2019, followed by the second meeting on January 15 this year. All three were held in the category of “any other business” meeting, with no outcome or minutes taken.
Citing sources, PTI reported that the US took the lead in Wednesday’s meeting in New York, and many other council members also joined and made it clear that the Kashmir issue was not a matter for the UN body to discuss and is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
In a statement issued in New Delhi on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs stated that it had noted that “China initiated a discussion in the UN Security Council on issues pertaining to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir”.
“This was not the first time that China has sought to raise a subject that is solely an internal matter of India. As on such previous occasions, this attempt too met with little support from the international community. We firmly reject China’s interference in our internal affairs and urge it to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts,” said the Indian statement.
In January, then MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had advised China to “seriously reflect on this global consensus, draw the proper lessons and refrain from taking such actions in the future”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Tirumurti told PTI that contrary to what Pakistan may claim, Islamabad has not been successful in trying to put Jammu and Kashmir on the UN agenda.
“Frankly, the attempt by Pakistan to try and internationalise, what is a bilateral issue, is nothing new. A lie repeated a hundred times will not become truth,” he said.
He said that contrary to what Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has asserted, there has been “no formal meeting of the Security Council on the India-Pakistan issue even once for the past 55 years, let alone three times!”
Tirumurti said what had come up earlier was in a closed-door completely informal meeting under what is called ‘Any Other Business’.
“This is a category where literally any item could be brought for discussion by anyone. Even China, being a permanent member, had to face discussion on Hong Kong in the Security Council under AOB earlier this May. These meetings have no records, and there is no outcome,” he said.
India had on Wednesday criticised China for describing the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 as “illegal and invalid“, and advised Beijing not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations.
“We have noted the comments of the Chinese MFA spokesperson on the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side has no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, replying to a question on China’s comments that any unilateral change to the status quo of Jammu and Kashmir was illegal and invalid.
In New York on Wednesday, the spokesperson of China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations said on the Security Council’s discussion on Kashmir that Chinese ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun pointed out that “India and Pakistan are both China’s friendly neighbours and big developing countries at a critical stage of development”.
“China is committed to growing friendly relations with both countries and calls on the two countries to focus on national development, set store by peace and stability in South Asia, properly handle historical grievances, abandon the zero-sum thinking, avoid unilateral actions, resolve disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation, and jointly uphold peace and stability of the region,” the official said.
The fresh move by China to internationalise the Kashmir issue came at a time it is engaged in a bitter border row with India in eastern Ladakh.
China has been critical of India’s reorganisation of J&K, and has particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh.
Meanwhile, India on Thursday called as factually “incorrect, biased and unwarranted” Turkey’s comments that removal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has not contributed to peace and stability in the region.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava also asked Turkey to refrain from interfering in internal matters of India.
“The statement is factually incorrect, biased and unwarranted. We would urge the government of Turkey to get a proper understanding of the situation on the ground and refrain from interfering in matters internal to India,” he said at an online media briefing.
A Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson on Wednesday said that withdrawal of special powers of Jammu and Kashmir has further complicated the situation and that it has not served peace and stability in the region.
The criticism came on a day marking first anniversary of India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir.(Agencies)