Frustrated Indian envoy at UN takes a big U Turn over Occupied Kashmir conflict

Frustrated Indian envoy at UN takes a big U Turn over Occupied Kashmir conflict

*KARACHI: Frustrated Indian envoy Syed Akbaruddin at United Nations takes a big U Turn over Occupied Kashmir conflict.*

Hours after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held a first-ever meeting over Kashmir issue in almost 50 years in a diplomatic triumph to Pakistan, India’s envoy to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin on Friday admitted that Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was a disputed territory and New Delhi was conditionally ready to engage with Islamabad over the matter.

India has regularly blocked discussion on Occupied Kashmir at the UN because it considers the matter an ‘internal affair’.

Facing a barrage of questions in a press briefing following the historic meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, Akbaruddin said that India is committed to the Simla accord inked with Pakistan in 1972, which explicitly declared the Kashmir as dispute between the two countries.

“So let me begin by coming across to you and shaking your hand… as we’ve already extended our hand of friendship by saying we are committed to Simla agreement. Let us wait on that from the Pakistani side,” said the Indian ambassador while awkwardly reaching out to Pakistani journalists and shaking hands with them.

Responding to a question, he said: “In closed consultations at the UNSC, anyone, especially parties to the dispute, can try and throw in anything at the members of the Security Council. That’s the nature of the beast.”

He added: “We are ready to address these issues in a matter in which states who have normal approaches to international ties address them… and in our case, we are committed to Simla agreement. It’s now for Pakistan to make that commitment to ‘stop terror and start talks’.”

New Delhi has been harping on its terror mantra despite Islamabad’s repeated attempts at resolving all outstanding issues between the two countries, including that of Kashmir, through dialogue.

After coming into power last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended an olive branch to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on multiple occasions, however, India never responded positively.