Stop terror to start talks: India tells Pak after UNSC meeting on Kashmir

Stop terror to start talks: India tells Pak after UNSC meeting on Kashmir
Indian envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said India's position was and remains that matters related to Article 370 of the Constitution are entirely an internal matter of India. File photo
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United Nations: India on Friday told Pakistan that it has to stop terrorism to start talks as the UN Security Council held a rare closed door meeting to discuss revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Briefing the media following the conclusion of the informal meeting requested by China and Pakistan, Indian envoy to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said India's position was and remains that matters related to Article 370 of the Constitution are entirely an internal matter of India and these have no external ramifications.

Without naming Pakistan, he said there are some who are trying to project an "alarmist approach" to the situation in Kashmir, which is far from the ground realities.

"Stop terror to start talks," he asserted.

On the Chinese and Pakistani envoys briefing the media after the meeting, he said, "For the first time after the end of Security Council consultations, we noted that two states (China and Pakistan) who made national statements tried to pass them off as the will of the international community."

He said India is committed to gradually removing all restrictions in Kashmir.

He said India remains committed to ensure that the situation in Kashmir remains calm and peaceful. "We are committed to all the agreements that we have signed on this issue. 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 and promoting violence in India, including by their leaders. Violence is no solution to the problems that all of us face," Akbaruddin said, taking a swipe at Pakistan.

Earlier, briefing the media, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said the voices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were heard today at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council, the highest diplomatic forum of the world.

"They are not alone, their voices have been heard, their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, their occupation and the consequences of that occupation has been heard in the UN Security Council today," she said.

Lodhi said that the very fact this meeting had taken place is "testimony to the fact that this is an internationally recognised dispute".

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.

According to UN records, the last time "the Security Council addressed the dispute between India and Pakistan over the territories of Jammu and Kashmir" under agenda item 'The India-Pakistan question' was in 1965.

On August 5, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and has also bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Reacting to India's decision, Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner soon after deciding to downgrade diplomatic ties with New Delhi.

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

China asks India, Pak to settle disputes peacefully

Zhang Jun, China's ambassador to the UN, on Friday urged India and Pakistan to settle disputes peacefully and "discard the zerosum game mentality".

Addressing the media after the closed door talks on Kashmir at the UN Security Council, Zhang said: "We call upon relevant parties to exercise peace and not to take actions that will aggravate tensions."

Voicing his country's opposition to India creating a separate Union Territory of Ladakh after revocation of special status for Kashmir, he said: "India's actions have also challenged China's sovereign interests and violated bilateral agreements in maintaining peace and stability in the border areas, and in that China is very much concerned.

"And I want to emphasise that such unilateral practice by India is not valid in relation to China, and will not change China's exercise of sovereignty and effective administrative jurisdiction over the territory.

"Both India and Pakistan are China's friendly neighbours, and both are major developing countries.

"Both India and Pakistan are at a crucial stage of development. We call on the two sides to set store of the developments of peace in South Asia and discard this zerosum game mentality and settle disputes peacefully and maintain peace and security in the region collectively and jointly."

Russia hopes India, Pak settle Kashmir bilaterally

Russia on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan would settle their differences bilaterally through political and diplomatic means, as the UNSC was set to meet to discuss the Kashmir issue.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, in tweets said that Moscow is good friends and partners with both New Delhi and Islamabad and would help both to "come to terms and have good neighbourly relations".

"#Russia continues to consistently promote normalisation of #India- #Pakistan ties. We hope that existing divergences around #Kasmir will be settled bilaterally by political and diplomatic means only on the basis of Simla Agreement of 1972 and Lahore declaration of 1999, in accordance with UN Charter, relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan.

"We are friends and good partners with both #India and #Pakistan and both peoples. We have no hidden agenda. 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 #Kashmir," he posted.

Imran discusses Kashmir with Trump

His statement came as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan dialled the US and other members of the Permanent Five, in order to present its case before the UNSC members before it meets to discuss the issue.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Khan took the US President "into confidence" regarding the UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters after the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan's concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to the regional peace," Qureshi was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.

The Foreign Minister said the conversation between the two leaders was held in a "cordial environment". They also agreed to remain in contact over the Kashmir issue, he said.

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