Tuesday, 16 November 2010

J&K in UN list; mystery still on

J&K in UN list; mystery still on
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 16 (AGENCIES): The controversy, raked up following the appearance of baffling media reports about the alleged UN move to remove Kashmir from its list of unresolved disputes, today had yet another interesting turn as the Pakistan's premier news agency APP running the rebuttal of earlier reports.
Paradoxically the United Nations, the origin of controversy, continued to maintain an eerie silence on the issue which has created flutters in Indo-Pak diplomatic circles. No official from the United Nations bothered to clear the air even today i.e., two days after the controversy erupted.
Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), however, reported: 'The Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains on the United Nations Security Council's agenda, a UN spokesman categorically stated Monday, while rejecting as "inaccurate" reports that it has been removed from the list of unresolved issues.
"Some articles today on Kashmir are inaccurate," UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said, referring to those reports. He said the latest list of matters the Security Council is seized of "continues to include the agenda item under which the Council has taken up Kashmir which, by a decision of the Council, remains on the list for this year," the spokesman added.
Earlier, a spokesman for the Pakistan Mission clarified that Pakistan's Acting Ambassador Amjad Hussain Sial, in his speech to the General Assembly on Friday, November 12 had referred to the omission of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in a statement by the President of the Security Council, and NOT from the Council's Annual Report-as reported in a section of press.
"The agenda item entitled, 'India and Pakistan Question', which covers Jammu and Kashmir dispute, is duly mentioned in the Annual Report of the Security Council and is also present on its agenda," Spokesman Mian Jehangir Iqbal said in a statement.
In his statement, the 15-member Council's President for the current month, British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, while presenting the Annual Report to the 192-member assembly, did not mention the Kashmir dispute in the context of unresolved long-running situations, despite the fact decades-old issue is included in the Annual Report.
"We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on agenda of the Security Council," Ambassador Sial remarked, after Grant's statement. Meanwhile, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, who is on a visit to Pakistan, said there was no question of the Kashmir issue being dropped from the Council's agenda. "The Security Council Report in its annexures is explicit," he said in a statement.
"The President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of the UK, is amply clear on the subject and is cognizant of the matter. I would request all concerned not to speculate unnecessarily upon the subject."
Earlier the development drew a protest on Monday from the Pakistani envoy to the U.N., Amjad Hussain B Sial. Pakistan has regularly been asking the international body to intervene in the controversy.
Speaking at the General Assembly during a discussion on Security Council reforms, Sial said, "Jammu and Kashmir was not mentioned in the context of unresolved long-running situations. We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on agenda of the Security Council." The discussion was organized by the United Kingdom, which is presiding over the Security Council this month.
India hailed the exclusion of J&K from the list of unresolved international disputes. Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, while speaking to reporters on Monday said, "We have always firmly maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.this is a very welcome step and we hope that in same way the U.N. addresses our bilateral issues."
It has been Pakistan's perennial stand to ask the U.N. to intervene into the matter and help it resolve with India, while India remains of the view the Kashmir issue must be bilaterally resolved between the two neighbors. Sial's opposition came after it was found that Kashmir did not figure in the recent annual report of the Security Council presented to the General Assembly.
The issue came to light when, mentioning disputed land issues throughout the world, the UK envoy to the U.N., Mark Lyall Grant did not name Kashmir as one of them. Grant said, "Some long-running situations, including in the Middle East, Cyprus and Western Sahara remain unresolved, as do issues where the Council has become engaged in recent years, including Nepal and Guinea Bissau." He further added that "huge challenges" remained unaddressed in countries such as Sudan, Somali and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Some time ago, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the international body would wait until asked to intervene and would not intervene unless asked by both the parties. In October, Ban said, "As far as this role of good offices is concerned, the United Nations normally takes that initiative when requested by both parties concerned."
Significantly, the UK also reiterated its support for India's candidature as a permanent member of the Security Council during the debate in the General Assembly.
This time, it was deputy envoy Philip Parham, who said that keeping within the structure of the Security Council, the UK remained supportive of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, as well as permanent representation for Africa.
The India-Pakistan question over Kashmir has not found mention in Security Council reports since 2000.

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