As Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will take up the Kashmir issue at the 42nd session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, in India, the ruling party, BJP is confident that the global body will appreciate India’s position against Pakistan’s canards.
The BJP maintains that the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 (A) from Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation, is an internal matter of the country which was done through a Parliamentary process.
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, BJP MP and head of think tank Public Policy Research Centre said, “Parliament passed a resolution with near unanimity that backed India’s decision (to abrogate Article 370). The mood of the nation is with the government. So when the matter will be taken up at UNHRC, India’s unanimous voice will be duly taken cognizance of and India’s position of Kashmir will be appreciated by the global community.”
Pakistan is trying to internationalise the issue of Jammu and Kashmir by raking it up at UNHRC. Pakistan’s foreign minister had said that he would present the issue to the representatives of the world community, reports Geo News.
Qureshi also said he will “shake the global conscience on serious human rights abuses” in Kashmir. After failing to garner support on Jammu and Kashmir from countries individually, Pakistan is now preparing to rake up the issue at the United Nations forum.
Sahasrabuddhe said,”Our position won’t change at the UNHRC. Kashmir is inalienable part of India and the decision to abrogate Article 370 is an internal matter and will remain the same at UNHRC. ”
The BJP is already leaving no stone unturned to explain the government’s decision to the domestic audience as well as international, and making a strong case of India’s stated position that it’s an ‘internal matter’ of India and if anything has to be sorted it must be done bilaterally.
In an election rally in Haryana on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself referring to India’s aggressive stance on Kashmir said, “India can now challenge any challenge (thrown at it)”.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar also said India’s stature has improved internationally.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the issue of India abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution and tried to create an anti-India narrative at UNSC in August. However, it had failed as France, Russia and US threw their might behind India.
Recently, Shireen M Mazari, minister for human rights in the Imran Khan government had issued a letter to multiple UN officials, listing Pakistan’s complaints about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370.
However, the global community has stressed that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.
The US has maintained that there is no change in its policy on Kashmir and called on India and Pakistan to maintain calm and restraint.
The US policy has been that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is up to the two countries to decide on the pace and scope of the talks on the issue.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump had said that he was ready to mediate in the Kashmir dispute.
However, toning down on the mediation offer, a top White House official later said that Trump is “ready to assist” India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue if both sides ask for it, while underlining that the US President is “very focused” on the situation in the Valley in view of its “broader implications”.
Russia too has said that abrogation of Article 370 is the “sovereign decision” of the Indian government adding that it was an “internal matter” of India.
During the closed-door meeting at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Moscow had reiterated that Kashmir is an internal issue of India.
The rare closed-door consultations on Kashmir by the UN Security Council ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ, dealing a huge snub to Pakistan and its all-weather ally China to internationalise the issue, which an overwhelming majority stressed is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Majority of the 15 members said there should not be any statement or outcome issued after the consultations and their will prevailed, leaving China to come out and make a statement in its national capacity followed by Pakistan.
France, UK, Russia, the US, four of the five permanent members of the UN security council, have endorsed India’s line.
But Pakistan, isn’t sitting idle. Qureshi and his team in Geneva will explore two options. Either to call for an urgent debate or move a resolution citing alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. In the first case, it has to be initiated by writing letter. But in both cases, it will have to pass the majority test.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has been on massive outreach programme to explain the Indian Government’s stated position on Jammu and Kashmir. He travelled to China, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Indonesia and the Maldives. He has reached out to Indian Ocean Rim Association nations. So much so, he has also reached out to South Africa, Fiji, Australia and the Philippines over the phone.
Jaishankar’s efforts will come in play in that moment when Pakistan will have to get majority of the countries on its side to sail through its agenda. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given him the task to convince UNHRC members that Kashmir is an internal matter of India. And in pursuit of that, the Indian diplomatic effort has been aggressive, to say the least.
India has also sent its best team possible to UNHRC.
Tensions have been simmering between India and Pakistan ever since the ruling party on August 5 revoked Article 370 of its Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
In retaliation, Pakistan has formally suspended its bilateral trade with India with immediate effect and until further orders. Islamabad has also permanently suspended the Samjhauta Express, the Lahore-Delhi ‘Dosti’ bus service, and has also shut down the Thar Link Express, its last remaining train link with India.