|The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army|
China shamelessly made a third attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN this month on behalf of protégé Pakistan. In August 2019, China had pushed for a UNSC meeting on Kashmir after the special status granted to J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution was scrapped by Government of India and the state was divided into two union territories. However, the closed door UNSC meeting rightfully gave China no benefit since it was India's internal matter. In December 2019, France, US, UK and Russia foiled another attempt by China to discuss Kashmir in a closed door meeting of the UNSC. In addition to favouring Pakistan, China's aim also appears to be for diverting attention from the criticism it is facing for the Hitler-type concentration camps in Xinjiang for a million Uighurs, agitation in Hong Kong against Beijing and China's failure to manipulate the recent presidential election in Taiwan.
On January 15, 2020 China made a fresh pitch to raise Kashmir under "other matters" during closed door consultation in the UNSC consultation room. But overwhelming majority of the 15-member council expressed the view that UNSC was not the right forum to discuss the bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. MEA spokesperson told media in New Delhi that Pakistan's attempt to peddle baseless allegations and show an alarming scenario failed as it lacked credibility. India's Permanent Representative to the UN said, "We once again saw an effort made by one member state of the UN, fail in plain view of all others. We are happy that neither alarmist scenario painted by the representatives of Pakistan, nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by representatives of Pakistan in the UN for a were found to be credible today. We are glad that the effort was viewed as a distraction and it was pointed out by many friends that bilateral mechanisms are available to raise and address issues that Pakistan may have with its ties with India, Pakistan's practice of using false pretenses to distract from addressing the malaise that afflicts it has run its course. We hope that Pakistan pays heed to the clear signals sent out here today and focuses on the hard task it has to address in order to ensure normal relations with India". Post China's third failed attempt, Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the UN said, "We had a meeting on Jammu and Kashmir. And I am sure you all know that Foreign Minister of Pakistan wrote letters to the Security Council asking it to pay attention to the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The issue of India and Pakistan has always been on the agenda of the Security Council and today we have also seen some tension, so the Security Council had a briefing and .... from the Secretariat concerning the current situation on the ground. Members exchanged views on that. China has stated its position very clearly. We remain concerned about the situation on ground". Much that Beijing may not want, Zhang Jun should get the UNSC message right – that UNSC is not the forum to discuss Kashmir. Pakistan's lies have been caught repeatedly with its foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi lying since he was holding the same appointment in Musharraf's cabinet. Besides, Jun would do well to focus on Xinjiang and Hong Kong because a fourth attempt by Beijing to raise Kashmir at the UNSC would fail similarly, blemishing his diplomatic career needlessly.
In Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan dancing to his military's tune sang the song scripted by his army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, welcoming the UNSC meeting and claiming Kashmir was an internationally recognised dispute by saying, "An internationally recognized dispute, Jammu and Kashmir remains on the Security Council's agenda and its consideration by the Council reflects a recognition of the prevailing situation in Kashmir.... We will continue to provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people until they secure their right to self-determination". What he meant was that Pakistan supported by China will continue to wage proxy war on India. Whether China admits or not its third attempt to raise Kashmir at the UN has received the royal snub. But both China and Pakistan are likely to remain incorrigible; refusing to acknowledge that all crows are not white or more like the tails of doggies straight jacketed in a bamboo for 20 years but refusing to straighten out. India is inviting Imran Khan to attend the 19th Summit of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which will be hosted by India later this year. A statement by MEA has said, "As per the established practices and procedures within the SCO, all eight members of the SCO as well as four observer states and other international dialogue partners will be invited". Whether Pakistan's army chief Q.J. Bajwa will permit Imran Khan to attend the SCO meet or orchestrate something to avoid him attending the event remains to be seen.