External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had called his Polish counterpart to brief him on the decision taken by the government. Poland is the chair of the Council

Kashmir matter in UNSC: Later today, at 7.30 pm, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will have a closed-door meeting to discuss India-Pakistan Question in New York Headquarters. China has once again come forward to stand with Pakistan and was the first to seek an informal meeting soon after Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s letter to UNSC President Joanna Wronecka on Kashmir. This came close on the heels of India nullifying Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and had bifurcated the state in two Union territories.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had called his Polish counterpart to brief him on the decision taken by the government. Poland is the chair of the Council. However, expressing his concerns, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, who had telephonic talks with both the Indian and Pakistan Foreign ministers, urged the two countries to resolve the matter mutually.

In his recently concluded visit to Beijing, Jaishankar in his bilateral meeting with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi had conveyed that decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter for India. And had also clarified that there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Experts share their views with Financial Express Online:

Says Professor Srikanth Kondapalli, Chinese Studies at JNU, “Despite Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar’s assurance that the J&K Reorganisation is not intended to change borders either with Pakistan or China, and that this measure by the Indian parliament is an internal matter, China had begun preparing to support Pakistan’s position on Kashmir. And raised the issue in the United Nations Security Council despite the Chair Poland categorically rejecting the suggestion earlier by arguing that this is a bilateral issue that needs to be raised between Pakistan and India.”

“This is a step in escalation by China in bilateral relations with India and reverses all improvements in bilateral relations and violates “strategic partnership” arrangements with India. China is clearly intervening in the internal affairs of India. While China’s clever move is for “preliminary discussions” on the Kashmir issue at the UNSC, it is internationalising the issue and pressuring India. For its regional ambitions of dominance, China is sowing seeds of discord with India with long term consequences for bilateral relations and regional security,” Kondapalli adds.

Ambassador Anil Trigunayat says, “Pakistan has always banked on terrorism and misinformation. These are the tools they have further sharpened with the advent of social media especially against India to spread canard for its domestic constituency and to mislead the international community. Pakistani credibility abroad has been repeatedly dented as no one believes as was witnessed when Senators in the US retracted their letters against India pertaining to Art 370 even publicly apologising.”

Adding, “But the fake news must be exposed with greater vehemence. But in the process, we should avoid being dragged down to the level of Pakistan. I am happy that Prime Minister Modi in his speech at Red Fort yesterday chose to ignore the direct mention of Pakistan. Let’s try and make them irrelevant in international discourse. ”

According to Prof Rajesh Rajagopalan, School of International Studies, JNU, “The UNSC discussion is not going to lead anywhere because I expect several of the UNSC permanent members (US, Russia, France, in particular) to prevent it from going further. But what should be noted is that yet again, China is taking a strong, direct, and adverse position on an issue that India considers vital. China is demonstrating, yet again, that the obligations in the so-called ‘Wuhan spirit’ only goes in one direction, in China’s favour, but they have no obligations towards India.”

“It also demonstrates the foolishness of India’s policy that New Delhi is still trying to desperately cling on to a failing policy, even weakening India’s other relations and potentially damaging our security interests. New Delhi should abandon any expectation that China will be friendly, or even simply, not hostile to India. This is the real significance of the UNSC action, not anything that actually comes out of the discussion there,” Rajagopalan opines.

Prof Ajay Dubey, chairperson, Centre for National Security Studies, JNU says, “Firstly, in order to release tremendous domestic pressure, Prime Minister Imran Khan chose to go to the UN which reduces the pressure irrespective of the outcome at the UNSC. The UN has been already told that Article 370 or Article 35A is post-UN position development. And its introduction or withdrawal does not change the UN positions when it passed its resolutions on Kashmir.”

Secondly, after Shimla agreement UN was officially informed about agreement of both countries to resolve Kashmir bilaterally.

And thirdly, given the current global diplomatic edge of India and isolation of Pakistan even in the UN, it is unlikely to have any adverse consequence. China has to face other four P5 members,” Dubey explains.