New York - The UN Security Council held a consultative meeting on Friday to discuss the Kashmir issue where Pakistan urged the world body to implement its own resolutions on this 70-year-old dispute.

“The voice of the Kashmiri people has been heard today. They are not alone, their voices have been heard,” Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi told reporters after the meeting.

She expressed gratitude to all the 15 members of UNSC for agreeing to hold the consultative session within 72 hours to Islamabad’s request, despite Indian efforts to block the meeting. She also said Pakistan was grateful to China for joining its call for the special meeting.

It being a closed-door session, no formal statement was issued after the meeting. However, Pakistani, Chinese, and Indian representatives talked to the media and presented their own opinions.

Pakistani envoy called the session an open rejection of the India’s claim of Kashmir being an internal matter.

The Chinese envoy supported Pakistan stance and expressed concern over “dangerous and serious” situation in Kashmir.

The India rep, on the other hand, accused Pakistan of “misleading” the world. He claimed that the scrapping of Occupied Kashmir’s autonomous status had no external ramifications.

But Ms Lodhi’s voice was clear, forceful and convincing. “This is an international dispute.... It (holding of UNSC meeting itself) nullifies that J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) is an internal matter of India,” she said.

“It is for the first time in 50 years that the world body has reaffirmed that Kashmir is not India’s internal issue, as it is an internationally recognised dispute.” She also said, “We are ready for a peaceful settlement of J&K.”

Dr Lodhi shared that the Chinese ambassador at the meeting “emphasised on Human Rights situation (in the occupied valley).”

The envoy also said, “The people of Jammu and Kashmir may be locked up and their voices not heard in their own homes and their own land, but their voices were heard today at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council.”

“Pakistan has, and always will, continue to highlight the gross human rights violations against the Muslims of Kashmir who are seeking their right to self-determination,” she said. “This (session) is not the first and last step,” the envoy added.

Maleeha Lodhi said that India had made desperate attempts to thwart the meeting but the member states had ignored its pleas.

China’s reaction

China expressed “grave concerns” over Kashmir at the UNSC meeting and said that the situation in the Indian occupied state “is serious and dangerous”.

Speaking before Dr Lodhi, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN told reporters said that such unilateral practices (as were carried out by the Indian government) were “invalid”.

India had on August 5 scrapped the provisions under Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“India has violated bilateral agreement to keep peace in the border areas. It is obvious the constitutional amendment by India has changed the status quo by India,” the Chinese envoy said. He urged India to refrain from any “unilateral action” on the Kashmir issue to avoid tensions

He said the Security Council has asked both parties, India and Pakistan, to refrain from taking any unilateral step on Kashmir dispute.

Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute and it must be “resolved in accordance with the UN charter,” he said.

Indian stance

India’s permanent representative to UN Syed Akbaruddin also spoke to the media after the Chinese diplomat.

He defended Modi government’s decision to scrap provisions of Article 370, saying it was an internal matter. Pakistan was misleading the world over the issue, he alleged.

The India envoy claimed that amendment to Article 370 had “no external ramifications”. He said, “Our national position was and remains that matter related to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is entirely an internal matter of India.”

Akbaruddin said, “The chief secretary of J&K has announced that the union territories are moving towards normalcy.”

“Internal changes are not changing the external orientation. We are committed to all the agreement(s) we have signed on this issue,” the envoy added.

“India remains committed to ensure that the situation in J&K remains calm and peaceful,” he said, and stressed that Kashmir dispute should be resolved bilaterally by Pakistan and India.

“These have no external ramifications, the recent decisions taken by the Govt of India and our legislative bodies are intended to ensure that good governance is promoted, social-economic development is enhanced for our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.