Several social media posts have gone viral, claiming that the United Nations (UN) has taken the Kashmir dispute off a list of unresolved conflicts as a recent diplomatic win for the Prime Minister Narendra-Modi led government. This claim is misleading as this is not a new development and can be traced back to November 2010.
BOOM initially received this post on its WhatsApp helpline (77009065888).
The message reads:
"Jammu and Kashmir has been removed from the UN's list of unresolved disputes. This means Pakistan cannot raise Kashmir in UN henceforth.
Big diplomatic victory for India."
BOOM used relevant keywords to find that this message has also been carried by a website covering law called 'LatestLaw', which has published this as a story on October 29, 2020. The website, however, links its source to an article from the Hindu from 2010.
On social media, one post on Facebook explicitly links this victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has more than 1,200 likes and 289 shares. An archived link of the post can be seen here.
The claim has also propped up on Twitter.
The issue erupted in November 2010 when Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom (UK) did not mention the Jammu and Kashmir dispute among a list of unresolved disputes in his address to the General Assembly.
In November 2010, the UK had assumed the presidency of the UN's most powerful organ - the Security Council - and as president, Grant was presenting the Council's annual report for the past year before the General Assembly - the UN's primary legislative body.
A statement by the UN from November 11, 2010, transcribes his statement. Note that the UN statement does not have his statement in direct speech, but rather is Grant's statement transcribed in indirect speech. BOOM is reproducing the relevant paragraph from UN's statement verbatim.
Throughout the reporting period, some situations in which the Council was engaged remained unresolved. Those included, in particular, the situation in the Middle East, Cyprus and Western Sahara. New situations had emerged in Nepal, Guinea Bissau and other States, while "huge challenges" remained in some places, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to media reports from agencies such as NDTV, the Hindu and the Indian Express which covered this incident from November 15, 2010, carrying a Press Trust of India byline with the headline, "Jammu and Kashmir removed from list of 'disputes' under UN", Pakistan lodged a complaint on the non-inclusion of Kashmir dispute on this list.
Amjad Hussain Sial, then Pakistan's acting envoy to the UN, was quoted saying, "Jammu and Kashmir dispute 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."
Regardless of Grant's remarks not containing the Kashmir issue inadvertently or not, this issue is not recent and is from 2010 and not under the current government.
Can Pakistan never raise the Kashmir issue at the UN?
UN records show that while Pakistan has attempted to raise the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the UN, such attempts have not been successful. The UN Security Council's annual reports file the 'India - Pakistan question' - UN parlance for the Jammu and Kashmir issue - as a matter bought to the attention of the Council but not discussed by it. Such was the case in 2010 - 2011 and more recently in 2019. The reports are acknowledgements of communication it has received and sent on the Kashmir issue. Outside of communications between the Council and the Secretary General, all communication consists letters sent by Pakistani representation at the UN.
In 2019, for example, Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue after the Pulwama incident (see here) and the scrapping of article 370 (see here), again unsuccessfully. In 2020 too, Pakistan has tried to the raise the issue at the Security Council.
The Jammu and Kashmir territorial conflict between India and Pakistan goes back to 1947. Both countries claim the region in its entirety but administer it partially. While Pakistan has traditionally sought to bring the issue to UN for resolution and solicits international mediation, India has consistently maintained that it is the country's internal matter and one that does not require the UN's mediation.
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