UNITED NATIONS : Diplomatic sources at the United Nations Friday brushed aside as “outlandish” India’s call for the removal of the Kashmir dispute from the Security Council’s agenda under the agenda item of “India-Pakistan Question”, saying a member state could not change the agenda unilaterally. The agenda is set in accordance with the established rules and procedures and can be changed only by a consensus decision of the 15-member Council, it was pointed out. The Indian Representative, speaking in a virtual informal meeting to discuss the 2019 annual report of the Security Council, made the demand, saying that certain “outdated” agenda items needed to be permanently removed from the Council’s agenda. India has long sought to remove the “India-Pakistan Question” from the agenda of the Security Council, but has failed consistently. The sources said an agenda item could only be closed if a dispute was “settled” or there was a consensus decision of the Security Council to remove it from its agenda. This was obviously not true in the case of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. “It is a pity that a country which is so eager to join the Council is not even aware of the basic rules of procedure governing its functions,” one diplomat said. The Security Council, the primary organ of the United Nations entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, maintains a list of items on its agenda. Any item can stay on the agenda even if one country requests for its retention. Pakistan annually requests retention of the item on “ The India-Pakistan Question”, under which the Jammu and Kashmir issue has been discussed since 1948. The item ‘India-Pakistan Question’ was first inscribed on the agenda of the Security Council in its formal meeting on January 6, 1948 to consider the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The Council has since adopted 16 resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir under this agenda item. Paragraph 72 of the Security Council’s annual report to the General Assembly on its work during 2019 records that following India’s illegal actions of August 5, 2019, the Security Council considered the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on August 16, 2019 under the item: “ India-Pakistan Question”. The several letters addressed to the President of the Security Council last year and in 2020 have all been officially circulated under the item: “India-Pakistan Question”. The mandate of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan ( UNMOGIP) was authorized by a decision of the Security Council under the item on “India-Pakistan Question”. UNMOGIP remains stationed in Jammu and Kashmir, another affirmation that the Kashmir dispute remains on the agenda of the Security Council. The Group regularly monitors and reports the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, allowing the Council to remain seized of the developments there. “The fact that UN Military Observers are stationed in Kashmir and ceasefire violations are reported daily to the UN Headquarters and to the Security Council is proof that this dispute remains under the active consideration of the Security Council and is in no way outdated,” the diplomat added. The sources also said that India could not wish away the fact that Kashmir remained on the agenda of the Security Council and that since August 5, 2019, the Council had deliberated on three different occasions within a year on the deteriorating peace and security and human rights situation in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
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