The United Nations Security Council will discuss India's move on Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting behind closed doors on Friday, diplomats told news agency AFP. Poland, which currently holds the council's rotating presidency, has listed the matter for discussion at 10:00 am (14:00 GMT) today, i.e. Friday, August 16, the diplomats stated.
Friday's discussion is not considered to be a full security meeting but rather referred to as closed door consultations, which are becoming increasingly more common, they added. However, it is extremely rare for the Security Council to discuss a matter like Kashmir. The last full Security Council meeting took place in 1965 on the Himalayan region.
The decision to conduct the "closed door" meeting comes after China, early in the day, asked the United Nations' organisation for "closed consultations" on Kashmir, following Pakistan's letter on the issue to Poland. "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," a diplomat said.
Pakistan, Beijing's closest ally, formally called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss India revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi recently said.
The diplomat said that China also submitted a formal request for such a meeting but Poland has to consult and take into account preferences of other Council members before deciding on time and date for the meeting.
Qureshi has 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 said the letter will also be shared with all members of the UNSC.
Qureshi had said he sent a formal letter to the president of the UNSC through Permanent Representative Lodhi to convene the meeting. "I have requested in the letter that a special meeting of the Security Council should be called to discuss those actions of India which we consider as illegal and against the UN resolutions," he said.
Qureshi had air-dashed to Beijing for consultation with the Chinese leadership on the issue of raising the Kashmir issue at the UNSC.
After his return to Pakistan, he had said Beijing fully supported Islamabad in approaching the UNSC. "China has directed its representative in New York to keep close liaison with Pakistani diplomats on the issue," Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad last week. He said China and Pakistan had also nominated their focal persons at Director General level for the purpose.
China wants the resolution of the issue according to the UN Resolutions, he added.
During his bilateral meeting with China's foreign minister Wang Yi on Monday in Beijing, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar conveyed that the decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter for India. He said the issue related to changes in a temporary provision of the Constitution of India and was the sole prerogative of the country.
Jaishankar noted that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-economic development and there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. "India was not raising any additional territorial claims. The Chinese concerns in this regard were therefore misplaced," he said.
Jaishankar told Wang that these changes had no bearing on Pakistan as it was an internal matter. "It did not impact the LoC. Where India Pakistan relations are concerned, Chinese side should base its assessment on realities. India, as a responsible power, had shown restraint in face of provocative Pakistani rhetoric and actions. India has always stood for normalisation of the ties in an atmosphere free of terror," he said.
After India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5 and announced the bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, Pakistan announced that it will approach the UN Security Council against New Delhi's decision.
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".
(With inputs from agencies)