Article 370: UNSC to hold meeting on Kashmir after 50 years; embarrassment likely for Pakistan; top 5 facts

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New Delhi | Updated: Aug 16, 2019 4:13 PM

Timing of UNSC meeting on Kashmir, Article 370: As per Indian Standard Time, it will be 7.30 PM when the closed consultations will begin.

narendra modi imran khan Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution of India will be discussed during “closed consultations” in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) today. UNSC is holding a meeting on Kashmir after over 50 years. The meeting comes after Pakistan’s all-weather ally China asked for deliberation on India’s move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in the council. Pakistan also wrote a letter seeking a meeting on the same, according to reports. On August 5, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under the Article 370 of the constitution of India would be revoked and the state would be bifurcated into two Union Territories- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

UNSC meeting on Kashmir, scrapping of Article 370 of the constitution of India

1. Timing of UNSC meeting

UNSC meeting will be held at 10 am (local time), according to the Council’s schedule – “Security Council consultations (closed) India/Pakistan”. As per Indian Standard Time, it will be 7.30 PM when the closed consultations will begin.

2. What is UNSC ‘closed consultation’?

According to the norms laid down by the UNSC, a closed meeting is not open to the public. There will be no verbatim record of statements. This is a kind of informal meeting of the Security Council members. This is not covered in the Repertoire. The repertoire is mandated by the General Assembly and it provides coverage of UNSC’s interpretation and application of the UN Charter, its own Provisional Rules of Procedure since 1946. The main aim is to provide the Member States, including those elected to serve on the Security Council, the United Nations system, academics, and others with a source of information regarding the evolving practice of the Security Council, according to a PTI report.

3. UNSC members’ stance on scrapping of Article 370, Kashmir

Even though China, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, asked for closed consultations on the matter, the other four, the US, Russia, Britain, and France have not expressed any reservations on India’s move. There are 10 non-permanent members Germany, South Africa, Belgium, Poland, Côte d’Ivoire, Peru, Dominican Republic, Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea, and Indonesia in the UNSC. All of them have not opposed India’s move. Pakistan and China would find it difficult to persuade these aforementioned nations to go against India on the scrapping of Article 370.

Following the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution, New Delhi categorically told the international community that issue was India’s internal matter and asked Pakistan to ‘accept the reality’.

4. First UNSC meeting on Kashmir in over 50 years

This will be the first UNSC meeting on the Kashmir issue in over 50 years, according to UN records. In 1964-65, the conflict between India and Pakistan over the territories of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed under agenda item ‘The India-Pakistan question’. This happened on January 16, 1964 when the representative of Pakistan had urged the President of the Council to “convene an immediate meeting” to deliberate on the Kashmir situation. However, India termed this as ‘a propaganda move’ by Islamabad. Again, the issue of Kashmir was raised under a separate agenda item ‘Situation in the India/Pakistan subcontinent’ in 1969-1971.

5. Pakistan seeks China cover after India’s historic move

Following the Modi goverment’s bold, historic move, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sent a formal letter to the president of the Security Council, Polish Ambassador Joanna Wronecka, through country’s Permanent Representative Maleha Lodhi to convene the meeting. Qureshi then went to China. He claimed that Foreign Minister Wang Yi assured him that Beijing will back Islamabad on the issue. Amidst this, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a bilateral meeting with Wang and categorically informed him that issue is an internal matter of India. Jaishankar also rejected Chinese concerns in this regard.

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