Kashmir stays questioned, UN reminds India


Two days after India assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council, the spokesperson for the Secretary-General has clarified that the UN position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute has not changed.

The clarification followed a press release by India’s UN Ambassador T. S. Tirmurti that the disputed state was now an “integral” part of India.

At a Wednesday afternoon news briefing in NY, UN Secretary-General Spokesman Stephane Dujarric was asked what the UN position on this 70-plus-year-old dispute was. “Our position on Kashmir is well established and has not changed. I will be able to leave it at that,” Mr. Dujarric said.

When the journalist asked him to repeat the official UN position on this issue, he said: “You will find it in relevant resolutions. I’m not getting to go and repeat it, but ours is unchanged.”

On Monday afternoon, India’s UN Ambassador T. S. Tirumurti addressed a press conference on taking up the UN Security Council’s presidency for the month of August. Asked to elucidate India’s commitments to UN Security Council resolutions that provide for a plebiscite within the disputed territory, he claimed that Jammu and Kashmir was “an integral a part of India.”

Responding to an issue about New Delhi’s Aug 5, 2019, action of illegally annexing the Jammu and Kashmir region, he said: “Any change or modification to article 370, like all other provision of the Constitution, is that the sole prerogative of the Parliament of the Republic of India.”

In doing so, the Indian envoy glossed over UNSC resolutions that recognize Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory and guarantee the proper self-determination to the people of Kashmir.

Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram, who earlier pledged to “carefully watch” India’s conduct during its UNSC presidency, rejected Mr. Tirumurti’s claim as false.

In a rejoinder issued by his office, Ambassador Akram clarified that: a) Jammu and Kashmir may be an UN-recognised disputed territory and NOT an “integral a part of India.”

b) Security Council resolutions calling for a Plebiscite remain effective and may be abrogated only by the safety Council itself.

c) India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5th August 2019 violate Security Council resolutions No. 91 and No. 122 and are thus null and void.

d) A dialogue between India and Pakistan is going to be productive once India: a. Reverses all unilateral and illegal measures imposed on and after August 5, 2019. b. Rescinds the demographic changes initiated in IIOJK, and. Halts its oppression and human rights violations in IIOJK.

The United Nations had also rejected India’s illegal annexation, reminding New Delhi that the UN position on this region was governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions.

“The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also referred to as the Simla Agreement, which states that the ultimate status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,” the United Nations clarified.

“The Secretary-General is additionally concerned over reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir, which could exacerbate the human rights situation within the region,” the statement added.

The Secretary-General urged “all parties to refrain from taking steps that would affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Although the Indian ambassador claimed that Jammu and Kashmir was an “integral and inalienable” part of India but said that his government was prepared to debate with Pakistan any issues and to resolve them bilaterally and peacefully as provided under the 1972 Simla Agreement.

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