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Pakistan's letter on Kashmir: China calls for informal UNSC consultation on Friday

UNSC Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi/Karachi Aug 15, 2019, 05.31 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick , Sidhant Sibal Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

China has asked for an informal, closed-door consultation to discuss Pakistan's letter on Kashmir. The consultation has been called for this Friday at the United Nations Security Council in New York, United States. 

The informal consultation, which is likely to take place at 10 am US time or 7.30 pm IST, will see an exchange of views among the UNSC members on Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi letter's to the UNSC president, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka on Kashmir in the aftermath of New Delhi's decision to remove special status for Jammu and Kashmir. 

All 15 UNSC members will be present when Pak FM's letter will be taken up. The meeting will happen in the consultation room and not in the Security Council Chamber.

Qureshi asked the letter to be disseminated at the earliest and that a meeting of the UNSC be called. So far, no such call has been taken. Pakistan is keen to hold a meeting in which it gets the right to speak and hold record of the discussion that takes place. 

The consultations will happen without India and Pakistan. Since it is a consultation process, it will not be part of the UNSC record.

Equatorial Guinea, which is one of the non-permanent members of the UNSC, said all members are waiting for instructions from the chair of the council Poland. 

"Pakistan has requested... for a meeting but we have to receive the instruction of the chair of the council until he decides... he is making consultations now", Anatolio Ndong Mba, permanent representative of Equatorial Guinea told reporters.

Last week, a letter written by Pakistan on August 6 was not taken in any of UNSC meetings. This came a day after the Indian government decided to remove the special status for Jammu and Kashmir. 

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, who has received calls from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Pakistan FM Qureshi said, "we expressed concerns over the current tensions between India and Pakistan... we are in favour of a dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out differences. We hope both countries can work out a mutually beneficial solution bilaterally."

Meanwhile, Russia has said there is no information on any initiative on Pakistan's letter. Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN said, "There is no direct information that there will be some meeting, no initiative to my knowledge".

"Russia will not object if it is a closed meeting" since "we need to discuss first among ourself because it been a long time since the UNSC touch on this file. We need to compare notes and reload this file," he said.

When asked if Moscow is doing anything behind the scenes, Dmitry Polyanskiy first deputy envoy of Russia at UN said, "everybody is doing something behind the scenes because we are all worried including Moscow".

Story highlights

The informal consultation will see an exchange of views among the UNSC members on Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi letter's to the UNSC president in the aftermath of New Delhi's decision to remove special status for Jammu and Kashmir.