India is leaving no stone unturned to thwart attempts by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir issue at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which began its 42nd session in Geneva on Monday.
After failing to garner support even from its staunch allies on Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 by India, Pakistan is now preparing to misuse this key UN platform to rake up the issue.
Leading the Pakistani charge will be its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi who is expected to speak on Tuesday. The Indian delegation at the meet will be led by Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry. She will be assisted by Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria, who was expelled by Islamabad following the developments in J&K, and other officials. Bisaria has been in Geneva for the past few days, meeting representatives of various countries to foil any Pakistani design on Kashmir.
Indications are that Pakistan might move a resolution on J&K though it lacks numbers at this stage to ensure its smooth passage. The session ends on 27 September and any resolution must be moved before 19 September.
Pakistan’s intention clearly is to get the world human rights body to make some critical remarks against India by particularly citing the restrictions imposed in J&K after it was stripped of its special status.
India is expected to assert its well-articulated position that restrictions were imposed to save human lives and cite the record that not a single civilian has died there in the last more than one month in any police action. India is also likely to highlight how cross-border terrorism sponsored and nurtured by Pakistan has caused bloodshed and hampered development in J&K.
After the abolition of the special status of J&K, New Delhi has launched a major diplomatic campaign in support of its action, while calling it an internal matter of India. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has been telling the world that the abolition of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two Union Territories was aimed at ensuring all-round economic progress and social development there.
Since the abrogation of Article 370, Modi had held bilateral meetings with US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the leaders of Islamic nations like the UAE and Bahrain and explained to them the rationale behind India’s move in J&K.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also been touring a number of countries to convey India’s point of view. Jaishankar and his key aides in the ministry have personally met or spoken on the phone to almost all the members of the UNHRC, which comprises 47 nations.