U.N. Security Council to meet on Kashmir today at China’s request


UNITED NATIONS  – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday will meet at China’s request to discuss the situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, diplomats said.

The council will meet behind closed doors for the first time since a similar gathering in August, which was also called by Pakistan ally China, after India revoked the decades-old autonomy granted to the Himalayan region under Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution of India.

In a letter to the Security Council on Dec. 12, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed concern about a possible further escalation of tensions.

“In view of the seriousness of the situation and the risk of further escalation, China would like to echo the request of Pakistan, and request a briefing of the Council … on the situation of Jammu and Kashmir,” China’s U.N. mission wrote in a note to council members.

Diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the meeting was scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

The Himalayan region has long been a flashpoint in ties between nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan, with both claiming Kashmir in full but ruling it in part. U.N. peacekeepers have been deployed since 1949 to observe a ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of mostly Muslim Kashmir.

Another resolution also calls upon both sides to “refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation.”