‘Conscientious’ states must examine India’s impartiality as UNSC president

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 05:41 PM, 9 Aug, 2021
‘Conscientious’ states must examine India’s impartiality as UNSC president

The rotational Presidency of the UN Security Council for the current month of August is with India. And during its incumbency it has faced unmatched embarrassment because of its untenable stand on Kashmir while Pakistan got its position on Kashmir vindicated, which is a stupendous victory.  

Allah is able to do all things.   

This happened despite India’s arrogance. 

The following will explain the point.  

According to Wikipedia, the role of the UNSC president, among other things, includes calling the meetings of the Security Council, approving the provisional agenda (proposed by the secretary-general), presiding at its meetings, deciding questions relating to policy and overseeing any crisis. The holder of the presidency (India in the present case) is considered to be the 'face' and spokesperson of the UNSC. 

How fairly the face and spokesperson is performing this role must be examined by the conscientious members (not all) of the world body that want principles upheld in all situations. 

The temporary mantle of the UNSC presidency appears to have disturbed the mental balance of the BJP-ruled country’s UN representative T. S. Tirumurti, because of which he has forgotten the impartiality he is required to maintain while occupying this seat.  

At a news conference that he addressed on taking over the headship he was asked to explain India’s commitments to UN Security Council resolutions that provide for a plebiscite in the disputed territory. 

In response he claimed that Jammu and Kashmir was “an integral part of India.” 

While making this claim the envoy deliberately ignored the fact that the dispute was still pending with the United Nations and decades’ old resolutions about it remain unimplemented by the ‘largest democracy’. 

Then, responding to another question about New Delhi’s Aug 5, 2019, action of illegally annexing the Jammu and Kashmir region, Tirumurti said: “Any change or modification to article 370, like any other provision of the Constitution, is the sole prerogative of the Parliament of the Republic of India.” 

The Indian representative was speaking from the world body’s platform but in fact highlighting his country’s unilateral claim about Kashmir.   

Realizing that the UNSC platform was being misused by the Indian representative to highlight the country’s disputed claim, the spokesperson for the secretary general immediately clarified that the UN position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute has not changed. 

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric was asked about the UN position on this 70-plus years’ old dispute. 

“Our position on Kashmir is well established and has not changed. I will leave it at that,” Mr Dujarric said. 

When the journalist asked him to repeat the official UN position on this issue, he said: “You will find it in relevant resolutions. I’m not going to go and repeat it, but ours is unchanged.” 

A stronger rejection by the UN of India’s unprincipled claim, unilateral measures taken in occupied Kashmir for ulterior motives and vindication of Pakistan’s consistent and principled stand on Kashmir was not possible. 

It was like a powerful slap in the face of India. That it was delivered during New Delhi’s headship of the UNSC adds to its intensity.  

After this if the ‘largest democracy’ had a fraction of conscience it should be ashamed of its baseless rhetoric on Kashmir.   

Similarly, the way India kept Pakistan out of the UNSC meeting on Afghanistan despite request by the latter for an opportunity to present its point of view has also exposed the incumbent president’s ‘impartiality’. 

Propriety demands that now the world community should play its role for the implementation of the decades old UN resolutions on Kashmir. The UN secretary general’s clear statement on the status of Kashmir should be sufficient to clear any confusion in the minds of Islamic or other countries.  

To honour their obligations as Muslim brothers they should stand by the Kashmiris who are being denied their rights by India. They should suspend trade with India unless it meets the requirements of the world body’s resolutions. 

Categories : Opinion