The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has issued a strong statement condemning Pakistan sponsored Pulwama terror attack where 40 soldiers lost their lives. On 14th February 2019, a suicide bomber, for whom JeM has claimed responsibility, rammed into a convoy travelling from Jammu to Srinagar, perpetrating one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent memory. The UNSC statement has come a week after the audacious attack by Pakistan, for which, Pakistan has been expecting retaliatory action from India.
The UNSC in its statement condemned the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir while naming Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan based terror group. It also urged other countries to comply with India and other relevant authorities in the investigation into the dastardly terror attack.
While to the layman, the statement might seem hyperbolic, here are 5 reasons why the UNSC statement was a significant diplomatic win for India.
1. Trumping China
Several reports have indicated that China had vehemently contested the language used in the UNSC statement. In fact, according to media reports, sources have confirmed that the UNSC statement was issued a week after the attack only because China had vehemently objected to the language suggested by India being used. In an ever-shrinking world, and with the China-Pakistan proclivity increasing, for India’s language suggestion to prevail is a significant diplomatic win in the UNSC in its own right.
One would recall that Prime Minister Modi’s attempts to find India a seat at the prestigious United Nations Security Council has also been repeatedly thwarted by China.
2. The mention of terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad
Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Islamic terror organisation based in Pakistan has carried out some of the most dastardly attack in India including the attack on the Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot in January 2016 and the attack on Parliament in December 2001.
India has tried to get Masood Azhar declared as global terrorist multiple times and each time, that attempt was thwarted by China. After the Pathankot airbase terror attack by JeM, India had also attempted to get Masood Azhar declared as a global terrorist by UNSC 1267 committee. In 2016, China blocked India’s attempt at UNSC on March 2016 and then in October 2016 citing ‘technical hold’. A day before the technical hold ended, China used its veto power to block the proposal banning Azhar in December 2016.
In January 2017, US, France and UK had proposed Azhar being deemed as a global terrorist, however, China, again on the behest of Pakistan had cited ‘technical hold’ and blocked that attempt. Each of the 5 members of the UNSC, including China, gets the power of veto.
The proclivity of Pakistan is China is based on a mutually destructive understanding where Pakistan stands up for China in Non-Aligned Movement (where Beijing has a scanty representation) and in return, Pakistan gets China’s veto power in the UNSC.
Despite the history, India managed to get UNSC to disregard China’s objections and accept India’s language suggestions of adding Jaish-e-Mohammad in the statement condemning the Pulwama attack.
3. UNSC statement mentions ‘Jammu and Kashmir’
Pakistan has always insisted that the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir be referred to as “India administered Jammu and Kashmir” by the world community and especially, by organisations like the UNSC. In this statement too, one of China’s contention, other than their protest against JeM being mentioned by name, was Jammu and Kashmir not being referred to as “Administered Kashmir”.
India, rightly so, has maintained that Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Pakistan is illegally occupying a part of it in the form of ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’. With the UNSC referring to the state as Jammu and Kashmir despite China’s protest is certainly a diplomatic win for India.
4. The indirect reference to Pakistan and presumably, China
The UNSC statement read, “all states must, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, cooperate actively with the Government of India and all other relevant authorities in this regard”.
This could very well be an indirect reference to Pakistan where the UNSC is asking the terror state to cooperate actively with the Government of India and all other relevant authorities. In fact, with China actively protecting JeM and its chief Masood Azhar, the comment could may as well also be applicable to China.
5. China, despite its protest, voted for the UNSC resolution
China, like all other members of the UNSC, has the power to veto a decision taken by the UNSC. Despite protests against the mention of JeM and the UNSC not referring to the Indian state of Kashmir as “India-administered Kashmir”, eventually, the interests of India prevailed and China too had to vote in favour of the resolution.
In all, the UNSC statement is a diplomatic coup for India where, we daresay, India might have got a step closer to Masood Azhar being declared as a global terrorist.