Winning over the UN Security Council in Islamabad’s row with New Delhi over Kashmir’s recently revoked autonomy is a long shot, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, while calling for “a new struggle.”
No one in the Security Council is waiting on Pakistan “with garlands,” Qureshi told the media during a press conference in the city of Muzaffarabad, located in the part of the disputed region controlled by Pakistan. Any one of the permanent members of the UNSC can be a “hurdle” to gaining broad international support for Islamabad’s cause, he said, adding that Pakistanis should not live “in a fool’s paradise.”
He also said that even the Islamic world might not be united in its support for Pakistan, as India has simply become too lucrative a market to be shunned for a political cause. “India is a market of over a billion people,” the minister said, adding that “the guardians of Ummah [an Arabic word commonly used to described the Islamic world] have also made investments there and they have their own interests.”
“Venting emotions is easy and raising objections is even easier,” Qureshi told the media. “However, it is difficult to understand the issue and move forward,” he added in what might sound like call for Pakistan to tone down its rhetoric. Yet, he also called on the nation to “wage a new struggle” to gain international support for restoring Kashmir’s autonomy.
Last week, India revoked the self-governing status of the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, the part of disputed Kashmir that India has been controlling since the late 1940s. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi argued that the move would allow the region to eventually be integrated into India and thus give a boost to its economy and infrastructure while helping to combat local insurgent groups.
New Delhi’s decision was met with widespread outrage in Pakistan, which considers the whole of Kashmir its territory. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan even compared the international silence over the revocation of Kashmir’s autonomy to the policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler before WWII.
Islamabad has downgraded its diplomatic relations with New Delhi while also severing economic ties and railway services. Now, it is gearing up to seek support in the UN Security Council.
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