ISLAMABAD - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is set to meet behind closed-doors on Friday to take up Pakistan’s request for the 15-member body to deal with the grave situation in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

“I can confirm that closed consultations on Kashmir have been scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, Aug 16) at 10 am. The meeting is convened upon request of China, a permanent member,” a spokesman of the Mission of Poland, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August, said in a statement on Thursday.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at 10am (7pm PST).

On Wednesday evening, Polish Ambassador Joanna Wronecka, who is the 15-member Council’s president, told reporters that the Council was likely to hold consultations on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, at the request of China, a permanent member.

Russian envoy to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said his country does not object to the meeting called by Pakistan to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status of occupied Kashmir. “Moscow doesn’t object to holding such a meeting, but the matter should be discussed behind closed doors,” Polyanskiy said while speaking to reporters.

Pakistan had called for the Security Council meeting on Monday when Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi delivered a letter to the Security Council President from Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, which contained the meeting request.

On Thursday, the Pakistani envoy was updating all Council members individually on the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir.

In a number of interviews with international media, Ambassador Lodhi has urged the Security Council to take note of the illegal annexation of occupied Kashmir by India.

“This is an issue of law and justice, and we are confident that the international community, members of the Security Council, will come down on the right side of history,” she said. “The right side of history is to stand by people, who been turned into prisoners on their own land, whose very basic liberties have been curbed, and now their religious freedom has even been curtailed...”

In the letter to the UNSC president, Qureshi denounced “recent aggressive actions” by India, saying they “willfully undermine the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir.” He also accused India of “racist ideology” aimed at turning its part of Kashmir from a Muslim-majority into a Hindu-majority territory.

“The Indian actions on August 5, 2019 have opened the way for realization of this fascist policy objective,” Qureshi wrote.

Pakistan has readied its case for the United Nations Security Council which meets today (August 16) to discuss the longstanding Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India, officials in Islamabad said on Thursday.

Senior government officials told The Nation that Pakistan was optimistic of world support as India had unleashed a new wave of state terrorism in the held territory.

“Our case is very genuine. We have been in contact with the P-5 (Permanent Five) countries and they have listened to us. They support us in principle and we hope they will demonstrate that in the UNSC,” said a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Another official said that Pakistan case can only be ignored by someone who has some vested interest. “Otherwise, our case is simple, how can they (India) merge a disputed territory. The UN accepts it (Kashmir) as a disputed territory. The world knows it as an international issue. We only want justice,” he added.

Last time when Jammu and Kashmir found a reference in UNSC resolutions was in 1998 in resolution 1172, after Pakistan conducted nuclear tests.

Yesterday, Qureshi said the discussion on Kashmir in the UNSC after four decades “is a landmark diplomatic achievement.”

He said the issue was last discussed at UNSC in 1971. After that there was a cursory mention of Kashmir in 1998 when Pakistan conducted nuclear tests.

Qureshi said the world needed to realise that it was the matter of humanity and not a piece of land between the two countries. He also said India had put a complete clampdown on movement of Kashmiris with reports of food and medicine shortages in the held territory.

“Not only international observers but also international media and members of international organisations have been barred to visit territory to gauge the severity of the situation,” he said.

Qureshi said India has been perpetrating genocide of Kashmiris as a plan to change the demographic composition of population in Kashmir.

Earlier, Qureshi had telephoned his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and took him into confidence over Pakistan’s stance on the longstanding dispute. Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan would continue raising the issue at all international forums to highlight the plight of Kashmiris.