NEW DELHI: The United Nations Security Council statement may have issued a statement condemning the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday but it was not without roadblocks created by China to the draft initiated by France.
ET has realiably gathered that Beijing objected to the description of Jaish-Mohammed as ‘Pakistan-based’. It has also desired that Jammu and Kashmir be referred as ‘Indian administered’ Kashmir.
But in a bid to not delay the consensus, which China also eventually supported, the mention of ‘Pakistan-based’ JeM was dropped. China then yielded on the description of Kashmir, which finally went as Jammu & Kashmir as India wanted.
There was also back and forth on how to describe the attack, suicide bombing or a terrorist attack. China wanted to describe it as a suicide bombing and then consensus was bulit on the lines that general condemnation of terrorism and terrorist attacks will be there later in the text. On balance, however, the fact that China was part of the UNSC consensus as a permanent member, sources said, should be seen as step forward from the standpoint that continue to block JeM head Maulana Masood Azhar‘s terrorist designation.
India had also worked behind the scenes at the United Nations over the past week to get support of all 10 current non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The four other permanent members of the UNSC — the US, UK, Russia and France — were already on board.
Among the non-permanent members, the support of Kuwait, a close partner of Pakistan, and Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim nation, were essential to India’s efforts, sources said. Other key current non-permanent members of the council include Ivory Coast, which is India’s old partner in West Africa, as well as South Africa, Germany and Poland.
Indonesia over the past few years has been against a strong position on Kashmir by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, said sources. The New Delhi-Jakarta strategic partnership evolved to the next stage with a strong focus on defence and security partnership, they said. The two have a joint maritime vision put in place last year, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s trip to Jakarta.
Meanwhile, Kuwait, whose rulers once made Mumbai their second home, has quietly despatched two letters last week to the Indian government expressing strong support in the wake of the Pulwama attack. Kuwait is eyeing the Indian market to invest big.
Pakistan had tried to outsmart New Delhi by approaching UNSC members, but its efforts did not yield results. India’s foreign ministry had consulted each and every non-permanent member of the UNSC to appraise them of the need to crack down on the JeM and state support for the group.
“This diplomatic campaign has seen a specific thrust at the United Nations with the Security Council’s condemnation of the attack where India worked behind the scenes and at the Financial Action Task Force where a current review of Pakistan’s status as a country sponsoring and abetting terrorism is under review,” said a source.
“Pakistan’s Prime Minister convened the National Security Council in which, even while disclaiming responsibility, he offered to punish anyone who was found using its territory. He also mentioned about accelerating measures to root out terrorism and extremism,” said this person. “Pakistan’s scrambling to put together even this cosmetic response is evidence of the coordinated diplomatic campaign that India has undertaken across multiple capitals and in Delhi. Many countries have unequivocally condemned the Pulwama attack with a number of them directly calling for the JeM to be held accountable.”
Parliaments of South Africa and New Zealand had condemned the Pulwama terror attack.