News 15 january — 21:38

China calls UNSC to discuss Kashmir, France opposes

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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will discuss the Kashmir issue in a closed-door meeting as part of its Wednesday agenda, Radio Pakistan reported.

According to media outlet News18, however, France said it opposed a request by a UNSC member, reportedly China, for a discussion on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in New York.

"France’s position has not changed and is very clear: The Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally -- as we have stated on several occasions and will continue to reiterate it to our partners on the UNSC,” added the sources who spoke to the French outlet.

The UNSC meeting has been called to discuss the situation in Mali, but China has made a request to discuss the Kashmir issue under the agenda of "Any Other Business Points".

Last month, the U.S., U.K., France, and Russia had foiled another attempt by China to discuss the issue at a closed-door meeting.

The council has last discussed the Kashmir dispute in August 2019.

China has long voiced concern over the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, and said it supports "ally" Pakistan in its fight for the Kashmiris.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan which have fought two wars over Kashmir.

Long-fraught relations between the two South Asian nuclear rivals flared up further after India scrapped the special provisions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and imposed a near-complete lockdown on Aug. 5.

Several rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.

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