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UN Security Council holds session to discuss Kashmir issue

The United Nations Security Council on Friday held a closed-door meeting on the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time in decades, with Pakistan claiming diplomatic victory. The meeting – requested by China at Pakistan’s behest – comes as tensions in the territory have severely escalated after the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s special status and restructured the state’s governance.

The U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors for the first time in decades on Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan’s U.N. ambassador says the session showed that people in the region “may be locked up … but their voices were heard today at the United Nations.”

Maleeha Lodhi told reporters after Friday’s council consultations, which focused on India’s recent downgrading of Kashmir’s autonomy, that “this is the first and not the last step” and “It will only end when justice is done to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“This is the first time in over 50 years that this issue has been deliberated upon by the Security Council,” Lodhi said. “I think this meeting nullifies India’s claim that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter for India.”

The Security Council took no action during the closed meeting, which was called for by China and Pakistan.

Chinese U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun said council members expressed “serious concern” at the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir including “about the human rights situation there.”

“It’s the general view of members that parties concerned should refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate the tension there, since the tension is already very tense and very dangerous,” he said.

He said the international community’s consensus is that the status of Kashmir is undecided, it is “an internationally recognized dispute” and should be resolved peacefully in accordance with the U.N. Charter, U.N. Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

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