Taking up Kashmir at UN 'diplomatic failure': Congress (Lead)

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Terming Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India, the Congress on Friday said that the internationalisation of the Kashmir issue at the United Nations was a major "diplomatic and strategic failure" for the Indian government.

The Congress said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government should break their silence and immediately demand the cancellation of the UN Security Council meeting as changing the law on one's own land was an internal matter for the country.

Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "We are extremely disturbed and shocked by what we see happening in the United Nations. We view it as a matter of grave and deep concern to the entire nation, to every citizen and resident of India," Singhvi said.

"Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is an integral, inalienable, untouchable part of India, no other body, group, organisation, individual can assert to the contrary. This is a non-negotiable, non-discussable issue as far as India is concerned."

"In last 65-66 years, it is for the first time that issue of Kashmir is being internationalized at UNSC," he said.

He said "We were not misled by all these noises about open door, outdoor or closed door. Our point is fundamental, under the Shimla Agreement signed by (former Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi, under India's established foreign policy, some of these are bilateral issues."

"But this issue is our internal matter, what we do with our law and changes in the law is not even bilateral, it is internal. Here, far from bilateral and internal, we are jumping to internationalisation," he said.

"I am sorry to say, India as a whole stands behind the government, but this is a grave diplomatic failure of the government. It is a grave strategic failure of the government."

Slamming the government, Singhvi said: "The Indian External Affairs Minister (S. Jaishankar) was in China and explaining to them about the government's decision while China on the other hand approached the UNSC for the meeting."

"Under the nose of the Modi government, while hosting our Foreign Minister, Chinese government gets this meeting organised at Pakistan's behest, is this not a strategic failure other than being a diplomatic faux pas? Why should such a meeting be held at the UN?" he questioned.

Asking the Prime Minister to break his silence and ask the UNSC to cancel the meeting, Singhvi said: "I implore the Prime Minister to not remain silent and move all our friends in the UN Security Council to have this meeting cancelled. This issue is not open for discussion."

--IANS

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