The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) issued a strong statement condemning the terrorist attack sponsored by Pakistan, where 40 soldiers lost their lives. On February 14, 2019, a suicide bomber, of whom JeM claimed responsibility, crashed into a convoy traveling from Jammu to Srinagar, committing one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent memory. The UNSC statement came a week after Pakistan’s bold attack, which is why Pakistan has been waiting for retaliation from India.
The UNSC in its statement condemned the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir by appointing Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based terrorist group. He also urged other countries to comply with India and other relevant authorities in the investigation of the terrorist attack.
While for the layman, the statement may seem hyperbolic, here are 5 reasons why the UNSC statement was a major diplomatic victory for India.
1. Trumping China
Several reports have indicated that China had vehemently contested the language used in the UNSC statement. In fact, according to media reports, sources have confirmed that the UNSC statement was issued a week after the attack only because China had vehemently opposed the language suggested by India. In a shrinking world, and with the rising trend of China and Pakistan, India’s suggestion to prevail is a major diplomatic victory in the UNSC in its own right.
One would recall that Prime Minister Modi’s attempts to find a place for India in the prestigious United Nations Security Council have also been repeatedly thwarted by China.
2. The Mention of the Terrorist Organization Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Islamic terrorist organization based in Pakistan, has carried out some of the most terrible attacks in India, including the attack on the Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot in January 2016 and the attack to Parliament in December 2001.
India has tried to have Masood Azhar declared a global terrorist several times and each time, that attempt was frustrated by China. After the terrorist attack of the Pathankot air base by JeM, India had also tried to have Masood Azhar declared a global terrorist by the UNSC 1267 committee. In 2016, China blocked India’s attempt against the UNSC in March of 2016 and then in October of 2016, citing the “technical retention”. One day before the end of the technical suspension, China used its veto power to block Azhar’s proposed ban in December 2016.
In January 2017, EE. UU., France and the United Kingdom proposed that Azhar be considered a global terrorist; however, China, again at the behest of Pakistan, cited “technical control” and blocked that attempt. Each of the 5 UNSC members, including China, obtains veto power.
Pakistan’s proclivity is that China is based on a mutually destructive understanding where Pakistan defends China in the Non-Aligned Movement (where Beijing has a low representation) and, in return, Pakistan gains China’s veto power in the UNSC .
Despite the story, India managed to get the UNSC to ignore China’s objections and accept India’s suggestions to add Jaish-e-Mohammad in the statement condemning the Pulwama attack.
3. The UNSC Statement Mentions “Jammu and Kashmir”
Pakistan has always insisted that the world community refer to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir as “India administered Jammu and Kashmir” by organizations such as the UNSC. Also in this statement, one of China’s arguments, apart from its protest against the mention of JeM’s name, was that Jammu and Kashmir were not mentioned as “administered Kashmir”.
India, with good reason, has argued that Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Pakistan is illegally occupying a part of it in the form of “occupied Pakistan Kashmir”. With the UNSC referring to the state as Jammu and Kashmir despite the Chinese protest is certainly a diplomatic victory for India.
4. Indirect reference to Pakistan and, presumably, to China.
The UNSC statement stated: “All states must, in accordance with their obligations under international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions, cooperate actively with the Government of India and all other relevant authorities in this regard.”
This could well be an indirect reference to Pakistan, where the UNSC is asking the terrorist state to cooperate actively with the Government of India and all other relevant authorities. In fact, with China actively protecting JeM and its boss, Masood Azhar, the comment could also be applicable to China.
5. China, Despite its protest, Voted in favor of the UNSC resolution.
China, like all other members of the UNSC, has the power to veto a decision taken by the UNSC. Despite protests against the mention that JeM and the UNSC did not refer to the Indian state of Kashmir as “Indian-run Kashmir”, the interests of India prevailed and China also had to vote in favor of the resolution.
In all, the UNSC statement is a diplomatic coup for India where, dare we say, India could have taken a step closer to Masood Azhar being declared a global terrorist.