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UNSC reviews Kashmir situation as protesters condemn Indian action

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council (UNSC) held an urgent meeting on Wednesday to review the situation arising out of the Aug 5, 2019, siege of Kashmir by India.

The closed-door, 15-member meeting was held at the request of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

“This 3rd meeting in a year by the UN Security Council serves as a stark repudiation to the Indian claim that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter,” Mr Qureshi said in a tweet after the meeting. “It further reaffirms the validity of UN resolutions on the Kashmiri’s right to self-determination through an impartial plebiscite.”

China, which is a permanent member of the Security Council, played a key role in arranging this meeting to underline the international community’s concerns on the atrocities India was committing in the occupied valley. All 15 members participated in the debate. Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani of Indonesia, which holds the council’s presidency for August, presided the meeting.

“Today, as the world witnesses one year of India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir, Pakistan welcomes meeting the UNSC meeting. This is a mark of the international community’s and UNSC members’ solidarity with the Kashmiri people who are facing a savage military siege,” the foreign minister said.

The meeting showed that India’s gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir remained a grave concern for the international community. He said: “Pakistan is thankful to all members of the UN Security Council, especially China, for the support in organising today’s meeting.”

Mr Qureshi pointed out that India’s illegal and unilateral actions of Aug 5, 2019 sought to change the globally recognised disputed status of the region. India, he said, was also trying to alter the demography of a Muslim majority region.

“Despite Indian lobbying attempts, today’s deliberations reflect the international community’s grave concern for peace, security & human rights in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

As the council debated the illegal Indian action, Kashmiris from both sides of the LoC protested outside the UN headquarters against Indian atrocities in the occupied lands.

They urged the world body to send a delegation to Kashmir to review the situation and to prepare a report for the UN Security Council.

They also chanted slogans, urging India to withdraw all illegal actions it has taken since Aug 5, 2019 and to let the people of Kashmir decide their fate.

US-based Kashmiri groups are also holding candle-light vigil at Times Square on Wednesday evening to highlight the sufferings of eight million Kashmiris.

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