LAHORE: Amid a steep surge in violence engulfing the Indian-held Kashmir, the United Nations Security Council members Friday urged both Pakistan and India to settle the longstanding dispute using peaceful means and through a direct dialogue based on related bilateral agreements inked in accordance with the United Nations Charter, prompting the New York-based envoys of both nations interpret the meeting and it’s outcome in their own way and words.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, said in her post-moot briefing to news personnel that Pakistan welcomed the United Nations Security Council meeting. This is how a section of the Indian media had reported Maleeha’s media briefing after the moot: “Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi on Friday said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir may be locked up and their voices not heard in their own homes and their own land, but their voices were heard today at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council. They are not alone, their voices have been heard, and their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, their occupation and the consequences of that occupation have been heard in the UNSC. In a briefing following the conclusion of the meeting, the ambassador said that the meeting had been called within 72 hours after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had written a letter requesting the same. Lodhi said that the very fact this meeting had taken place is “testimony to the fact that this is an internationally-recognized dispute. India’s claim that the issue was an “internal matter” stood nullified following today’s meeting.”
Meanwhile, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, was quoted by the Indian “NDTV” as asserting:”The Indian government is committed to gradually removing all restrictions in Kashmir and the government is undertaking steps towards normalcy. “Prevention is better than cure. Measures we took were preventive in nature. These efforts sometimes lead to restrictions. There was not one fatality,” Akbaruddin told reporters at the UN. These have no external ramifications, the recent decisions taken by the Government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, social economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The widely-watched Indian television channel further reported: Taking a swipe at Pakistan, Akbaruddin said Islamabad should stop terror and start talks. He said Pakistan was trying to project an alarmist approach to the situation which is far from ground realities. “Of particular concern is that one state is using terminology of ‘jihad’ and promoting violence in India including by their leaders,” he said. “The outcome of the UNSC meeting will not be a formal pronouncement as the consultations are informal in nature. India and Pakistan did not attend the meeting, which was open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.”
The “India Today” had maintained: “India on Friday defended its decision to scrap provisions of Article 370 that have special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it was an internal matter. India also snubbed Pakistan for interfering in the internal matters of the country, saying that Pakistan was misleading the world. Our national position was and remains that matter related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is entirely an internal matter of India.”
Yet another Indian media house, the “News18,” had carried more quotes from Akbaruddin’s press talk after the meeting:”We note that there were some who tried to project an alarmist approach to the situation which is far from the ground realities. Of particular concern is that one state is using terminology of ‘jihad’ against and promoting violence in India including by their leaders. We’re committed to gradually removing all restrictions. Since the change is internal to India, we have not made any difference to our external orientation. India remains committed to ensure that the situation there (J&K) remains calm and peaceful.”
Akbaruddin, according to the Uttar Pradesh-based “News18,” had added: “It is a big victory for India. Pakistan has failed to convince the global community. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the new developments are only for the progress of Kashmiris. Pakistan except for terrorism has not given anything to Kashmiris. As you can see, 10 days have passed and there are no fatalities. In similar situations, in large part of the world, we have seen large fatalities. Issues will be resolved bilaterally. Pakistan is trying to mislead the world. Stop terror to start talks. We are committed to Shimla agreement. Pakistan has failed to honour bilateral pacts. When a Pakistani journalist asked Akbaruddin about when New Delhi will begin a dialogue with Pakistan, he replied, “So let me start by coming across to you and shaking hands. All three of you!”
This news channel maintained: “The Russian envoy apparently suggested to India and Pakistan to take bilateral route on the basis of the Shimla agreement of 1972 and the Lahore declaration of 1999, and in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN resolutions and other bilateral agreements. We are friends and good partners with both India and Pakistan. We have no hidden agendas. So, we will open-heartedly continue to engage with Islamabad and New Delhi in order to help both of them come to terms and have good neighbourly relations.”
The media outlet stated: “After the UNSC meeting, the Chinese envoy said, “The security general made a statement to refrain from taking unilateral action which is dangerous. The issue should be resolved in accordance with the UN Charter. China is deeply concerned about the situation.”