by Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi

Five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council were expected to meet last week on China’s request to discuss the situation in the disputed region, but the meeting had to be postponed after France opposed the move. Given the UNSC diplomatic history and legacy over the Kashmir and the Palestinian issues, it remains an obvious position that on the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict both the US and the UK take side with Israel while on Kashmir both France and Russia technically side with India by arguing that India and Pakistan should diplomatically and bilaterally resolve it.On the issue of Kashmir, It is only China in the UNSC that openly supports the Kashmiri cause. The irony of the situation is that since the UNSC house remains divided on the humanitarian issues, there is false dawn of hope that UN could play its meaningful role in resolving the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. But this defunct UNSC role remains fatal to establish any scope of peace in South Asia.

As per the UNSC constitution, any of five permanent members – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – can shoot down a UNSC meeting by simply disagreeing with the proposal. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun told the council on Tuesday that he would again request the meeting when the peacekeeping mission was ready to give a detailed briefing. Though China had requested for a formal discussion on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir after hectic diplomatic talks between the 15 members of the UNSC (P5 permanent members and the 10 non-permanent members), the request was withdrawn. “Only one of the five permanent members, China, openly favours Pakistan,” the Dawn report noted. The remaining four permanent members – Britain, France, Russia and the US – want India and Pakistan to address the Kashmir dispute in a bilateral set-up, it said.

“We all know the Security Council has received a letter from the foreign minister of Pakistan requesting Security Council discussions and discussions are going on,” Zhang later told reporters.China had requested for a discussion on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir but after hectic diplomatic talks between the Indian mission in New York and all 15 members of the UNSC (P5 permanent members and the 10 non-permanent members), the request was withdrawn. According to the French diplomatic sources, France held its traditional position on the Kashmir issue: “Kashmir will not be discussed in the Security Council today (Monday). Our position has been very clear, that is Kashmir issue has to be treated bilaterally”…

Put retrospectively, in August India’s UN ambassador, Syed Akbaruddin reiterated New Delhi’s stance that Kashmir is not an international conflict. He accused Zhang of trying to pass off his remarks as “the will of the international community,” adding that India’s latest Kashmir move was an internal matter. “If there are issues, they will be discussed, they will be addressed by our courts; we don’t need international busybodies to try and tell us how to run our lives. We are a billion-plus people,” Akbaruddin told reporters.

Sadly, the UNSC holds no grave concerns regarding the issues of the Muslim world and it is why that both the Palestine and Kashmir issues remain unresolved

Here the UNSC permanent and non-permanent members all along need to be apprised of the truth that the violence-provoked and an officially-endorsed communal violence policy of the Modi Government in Kashmir, mainly against Muslims is all in blatant violations of the UN’s Human rights Chanter. Needless to say, these outbreaks of Hindu-supremacy barbarity are sponsored largely by a militant organisation called the Bajrang Dal– noted in the New Yorker–has either been banned or has lurked at the margins of Indian society. But ironically since 2014 this militant group has been legitimised and grown exponentially more powerful. Notably, in the past seven years, according to Fact Checker, there have been a hundred and sixty-eight attacks by Hindu extremists, in the name of protecting cows, against Muslims and other religious minorities.” Veritably, Indian democracy is under the quagmire of Hindutva run by racist Hindu supremacists, and here it is why the New York Times considers it disquieting that Modi “seems intent on digging in. Indian news channels ,following the line of the Government in New Delhi,have referred the detainees being flown out of Kashmir as Pakistani terrorists or separatist leaders.

But the UNSC members cannot refute the reality: The main, if not the only, cause of confrontation between New Delhi and Islamabad over the past 72 years is ‘the unsettled status of Kashmir’. As a fatal consequence of the unfair Indian policy, the people of Kashmir are denied the basic human right to control their lives in freedom and democracy. The world community knows that the people of Kashmir are oppressed. If continued, this oppression as being reflected by the ongoing Mode’s policies in the Indian held Kashmir, exclusively vindicated by the ongoing imposition of Curfew in the Vale, and also reflected from the day to day practices of the Indian forces —committing violence in Kashmir, there appears every possibility that the conflict could escalate into larger-scale warfare and even a nuclear holocaust.

Sadly, the UNSC holds no grave concerns regarding the issues of the Muslim world and it is why that both the Palestine and Kashmir issues remain unresolved. Despite the fact that the Human Right Law and the Humanitarian Law- the core of the UN’s charter–that are completely undermined in Palestine and Kashmir manifested by the fact that violence to life and persons, in particular, murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognised as indispensable by civilised peoples . Yet the UNSC, a hub of power narratives–because of its polarised approach towards the Muslims –remains purposefully unable to address the issues.

Against this backdrop, the world community has a pressing responsibility to prevent two nuclear-laden countries-India and Pakistan from driving into extinction one-fifth of humanity living in South Asia. Fairly enough, the world community did not allow apartheid to be perpetuated in South Africa or allow Indonesia to rule East Timor by force. And yet turning a blind eye to the bloodiest conflicts of history will only result in an escalation of Kashmir’s already dismantling situation. Pakistan is highly justified when it seeks ‘proportional representation’ of Muslim countries in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — urging that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) could play a greater role in discussions over reforms in the main decision-making body.