United Nations Security Council held in camera session to review the human rights situation in the occupied Kashmir. The lock down there has entered the 165th day and 8 million Kashmiris are under siege laid by Indian forces. They are not even allowed by Indian government to say congregational prayers in mosques on Fridays for fear of protest by them. This is the second UNSC meeting since the revocation of special constitutional status of Kashmir and clamping lockdown in the valley.
Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the closed doors discussion by the members of UN Security Council on the deteriorating situation in Kashmir and its implication on peace in South Asia, saying that it reflects the concerns of international community over the gravity of situation in the region. He emphasied the need to amicably resolve Kashmir dispute in accordance with multiple United Nations’ Resolution asking India to hold plebiscite there. During his current visit of the United State, Foreign Minister Shah MehmoodQuershi met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterrs to apprise him about the worsening situation of Kashmir. He will also be holding discussion with high officials of President Trump administration on the situation in the region.
Since the annulment of special status of occupied Kashmir on August 5, the present government has embarked upon a proactive and sustained diplomacy as reflected in two UN Security Council meetings in the past five months. Credit must be given to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah MehmoodQureshi and his team of Foreign Office officers for skillfully bringing out the Kashmir dispute from the ambit of bilateralism and internationalizing it. However, the response of the world and even majority of OIC member countries is not clearly buttressing Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir for providing diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiri Muslims. The leaders of Islamic countries, except Malaysia and Turkey, have given precedence to their economic interest in India over the plight of Kashmiris. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan had visited Pakistan last month and held meetings with Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, which created an impression that a special OIC Foreign Ministers’ moot on Kashmir may be in the offing but nothing of the sort is going to happen.
From among world powers only China is strongly supporting the stance of Pakistan whereas the sole super power the US and other word powers are not that vocal. Former Foreign Minister KhursheedMahnoodKasuri had summed up this lackluster response on Kashmir in one sentence, saying that India is an economic power and large market. In comparison Pakistan is no doubt nuclear power but it is not economic power. It would have been an economic power as well if successive elected government since 1972 has not destroyed its economy by deliberately implementing disastrous policies. Hopefully, the diplomatic offensive against India will gain further momentum.