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UN Security Council to discuss Kashmir today

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United Nations/Islamabad

The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a rare meeting on Kashmir after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, sparking a row with Pakistan, diplomats told AFP Thursday.

The meeting will take place behind closed doors on Friday morning, the diplomats said.

Poland, which currently holds the council’s rotating presidency, has listed the matter for discussion at 10:00 am (1400 GMT), the diplomats added.

It is extremely rare for the Security Council to discuss Kashmir.

The last time there was a full Security Council meeting on the Himalayan region was in 1965.

Friday’s discussion is not considered a full security

meeting but rather referred to as closed door consultations, which are becoming increasingly more common, diplomats said.

China, an all-weather ally of Pakistan, had asked for the “closed consultations” in the UN Security Council to discuss India revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir after Islamabad wrote a letter seeking a meeting.

A top UN diplomat told PTI on condition of anonymity that a request for such a meeting was submitted very recently.

“China asked for closed consultations on the Security Council agenda item ‘India Pakistan question’. The request was in reference to the Pakistani letter to Security Council President,” the diplomat said.

Geo News quoted UNSC President Joanna Wronecka as saying that “the UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16.”

When asked about the timing of the meeting, Wronecka said, “Most probably on Friday as the Security Council would not operate on Thursday”, the report said.

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

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.

Pakistan formally called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday.

Qureshi said that a discussion on the Kashmir issue in the UNSC after four decades will be a landmark diplomatic achievement, Pakistani media reported.

“The world needs to realise that it is the issue of humanity and not a piece of land between the two countries,” the state-run PTV quoted Qureshi as saying.

Qureshi sent a formal letter to Wronecka through country’s permanent representative Maleha Lodhi to convene the meeting. Qureshi said the letter will also be shared with all members of the UNSC.

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