Un Kashmir:

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan meeting External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in New Delhi on Aug. 16, 2019. (IANS/MEA photo)

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council in its informal consultation on Kashmir Aug. 16 acknowledged India's measures to bring normalcy and development to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, said India's Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Akbaruddin said India's "position was and remains that matters pertaining to Article 370 are entirely an internal matter of India. These have no external ramifications.

"The recent decision taken by the Government of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, socio-economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh," he said, referring to the revocation of special status for Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

"You are aware that the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir announced a whole set of measures that the government is undertaking to move towards normalcy," he said, referring to the announcement by Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam that schools would be reopened, and that all restrictions would be eased soon.

Referring to the results of the closed door consultations, he said: "We are gratified that the UNSC in its closed consultations appreciated these efforts, acknowledged them, and indicated that this is the direction that it would like the international community to move. We are committed to gradually removing all the restrictions."

Referring to the objections of China and Pakistan, he said: "Since the change is internal to India, it has not made any difference to our external orientation. India remains committed to ensure that the situation there remains calm and peaceful."

The Council met Aug. 16 for about an hour in a closed-door consultation at the request of China. In the format of the informal consultation, it was held without public access. 

Council president Joanna Wronecka did not speak to the media or issue any advisory about the meeting.

Akbaruddin also said that after the end of the closed consultations "we noted that two states that made national statements tried to pass them off as the will of the international community.”

He said that since some were trying to masquerade national statements as the will of the international community, he was there to explain India's national position.

The Indian envoy also said that some were trying to project an alarmist situation in Kashmir to propagate their ideology, referring to Pakistan.

Slamming Pakistan, which has been trying to whip up passions over Kashmir, he said: "Of particular concern is that one state is using terminology of jihad against and promoting violence in India, including by their leaders. Violence is no solution to the problems that all of us face. We are committed to and consistent in our previous position that all issues between India and Pakistan as well as India and any other country will be resolved bilaterally, peacefully and in a manner that behooves normal inter-state relations between countries.

IANS adds from New Delhi: President Donald Trump has stressed the need for bilateral dialogue to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the White House said Aug. 17.

Trump's observation came during a telephonic conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, hours before the United Nations Security Council meeting in New York Aug. 16. 

"Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan to discuss regional developments and to follow up on the Prime Minister's successful visit to Washington, D.C., last month," said Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley in a statement.

The White House said Trump conveyed the importance of India and Pakistan reducing tensions through bilateral dialogue regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The two leaders further discussed how they will continue to build on the growing relationship between the United States and Pakistan and the momentum created during their recent meeting at the White House," said Gidley.

On Aug. 16, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in New Delhi and discussed with him ways to take forward the "deep convergences" in India-U.S. strategic ties, with both sides focusing on a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific – in the backdrop of China's widening footprints in the region. 

"Glad to receive ... John Sullivan. Discussing the deep convergences of our strategic relationship," Jaishankar wrote on Twitter while posting a picture of the two sides seated for talks.

The talks come as the U.S. reaffirmed that there was no change in its Kashmir policy. The U.S. team led by Sullivan is in Delhi after a visit to Bhutan, where China is attempting to slowly expand its reach.

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