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Security Council Meets Today to Discuss Occupied Kashmir Lockdown

China had asked the UN Military Observer Group posted along the border areas between Pakistan and India to brief the UNSC on the ground realities of the area.

DESPARDES — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will meet today to discuss the alarming human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, Radio Pakistan reported.

This is the second time in less than six months that the Security Council will meet to discuss the situation in the occupied valley.

The session on Kashmir comes as a group of foreign diplomats — including the US — based in New Delhi visited Indian Kashmir last week for the first time after India scrapped the region’s special status five months ago.

European Union envoys had declined an invitation, apparently because the visit did not include meetings with three former chief ministers, who continue to be in detention and whose parties dominated Kashmiri politics.

The chief US diplomat for South Asian affairs, Alice Wells, over the weekend of the visit, expressed concern over continued detentions and internet-shutdown in occupied Kashmir, days before her visit to New Delhi for bilateral talks.

“Closely following US ambassador to India and other foreign diplomats’ recent trip to Jammu & Kashmir. Important step,” she wrote in a tweet posted on the official website of the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

“We remain concerned by detention of political leaders and residents, and internet restrictions. We look forward to a return to normalcy,” she added.

As the UNSC meets to discuss occupied Kashmir for a second time in less than six months, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is set to arrive in New York to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

In August last year, the Security Council had, for first time in over five decades, met to discuss the critical human rights situation in the occupied valley.

The meeting had come about after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the special status of the valley in August 2019 and imposed a military curfew and communications blackout in the area, sending in hundreds of thousands of Indian troops to quell protests.

Thousands of people, including the top political leadership of occupied Kashmir, as well as two former chief ministers and the mayor of capital Srinagar, were detained. International media also reported that the detainees had been tortured by the occupying Indian troops.

The international community had voiced concerns about the situation of occupied Kashmir in the aftermath of the move by the Indian premier, with several leaders, including US congresspersons, urging India to lift the blockade and return normalcy to the region.

Islamabad had also condemned the Indian move and asked New Delhi to immediately lift the restrictions in the valley, urging India to respect the right to self-determination of the people in Kashmir.

China, Turkey and Malaysia had backed Pakistani concerns regarding the volatile situation on the LoC and in Kashmir.

China had asked the UN Military Observer Group posted along the border areas between Pakistan and India to brief the UNSC on the ground realities of the area.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the situation “not good, not sustainable”.

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