While a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday ended, Pakistan's envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir may be locked up, with their voices not being “heard in their own land”.
Following a consultative meeting held by the UNSC to discuss the Kashmir issue, which has taken a turn for the worse following the abrogation of Article 370, Lodhi said the people from the troubled state were heard at the UN.
“We stand ready for a peaceful settlement of the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. This meeting nullifies India's claim that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter. The whole world is discussing the occupied state,” she said.
Lodhi added that Pakistan will stand by the people of Jammu and Kashmir and its efforts will only end when justice is delivered to them. The meeting was called after China backed Pakistan’s request to discuss the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the UNSC.
The outcome of the UNSC meeting will not be a formal pronouncement as the consultations are informal in nature. India and Pakistan are not attending the meeting, which is open only to the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.
On 5 August, 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. Soon after Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner terming India's decision 'unilateral' while also downgrading diplomatic ties with New Delhi.
India has maintained that revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter. Russia's deputy permanent representative Dimitry Polyanskiy told reporters before entering the meeting room that Moscow's view is that it is a "bilateral issue" between India and Pakistan
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged India and Pakistan to exercise "maximum restraint" and refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir. He had highlighted the Simla Agreement which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.
— With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 16, 2019 22:58:36 IST