The United Nations Security Council discussed disputed Kashmir at Pakistan's request Wednesday for the third time since India’s Hindu nationalist government decided to end the Muslim-majority region’s semi-autonomy a year ago. The U.N.’s most powerful body did not take any action or issue a statement after the virtual meeting behind closed doors.
Nonetheless, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said afterward that holding the meeting signified “that Jammu and Kashmir is an international dispute firmly on the agenda of the Security Council and has nullified, yet another time, the Indian self-serving claim that it is an ‘internal matter.’”
On Aug. 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, scrapped its separate constitution and removed inherited protections on land and jobs. India’s action and harsh security clampdown have sparked anger and economic ruin in the region.
Qureshi said in remarks circulated by Pakistan’s U.N. Mission that the international community “should exercise its moral, legal and political authority to call out India to reverse the tide of impunity and stop the genocide of the Kashmiri people.” He urged India to reverse its unilateral actions, stop human rights and cease-fire violations, remove restrictions on communications, movement and peaceful assembly, and immediately release Kashmir’s leaders.
The Kashmir dispute, one of the oldest on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council, erupted between India and Pakistan in 1947. The Security Council called for a referendum to decide the region's fate in 1948. While India says the decision to support accession to India taken in elections held in territories controlled by an administration that is backed by New Delhi made a referendum unnecessary, the U.N. and Pakistan say a referendum needs to take into account the views of voters throughout the former princely state.
Since 1947, more than 94,000 Kashmiris have been killed during clashes with Indian authorities, according to Pakistani sources. Islamabad has urged the international community to fulfill its moral and legal obligation by giving Kashmiris the chance to realize their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with Security Council resolutions.