By Sher Bano*
India has taken over the presidency of ‘UNSC’ (United Nations Security Council) from France. During the tenure of 2021-2022, thi is India’s first presidency as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. However, this could be quite worrisome for Pakistan as India would surely use this opportunity to propagate its own narrative on issues such as UN reform and terrorism. Pakistan’s Ambassador at UN Mr. Munir Akram said that Pakistan would remain watchful and make sure that India during its presidency does not take any steps that are against the core interest of the country.
As per the tweet by Ambassador T.S Tirumurti (India’s permanent representative at the UN), during the month of August three high-level meetings would be organized by India on issues such as peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and security. The ‘program work’ of any country during its presidency is the most important element which shows its priorities. The ‘program work’ of India which includes a debate on critical issues such as maritime security and counter-terrorism is an attempt to needle its adversaries China and Pakistan. India would likely use the issue of terrorism to malign Pakistan’s image at such a forum especially during the briefing on counter-terrorism and would present itself as the victim of terrorism. It wouldn’t miss the chance to accuse Pakistan. Moreover, it would likely use the debate on maritime security against China by criticizing its role in the South China Sea.
Another critical issue is the timing of India taking over the presidency of the UNSC. Even though it is a coincidence but it had happened at the time when foreign forces are about to withdraw from Afghanistan and it would also be the second anniversary of India’s annexation of IOJK. Due to India’s presidency in the month of August, any efforts of Pakistan to seek discussion on the issue of annexation of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir at the Security Council would be in vain as India will never allow it. During the past two years, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir has been discussed at the Security Council thrice. This tenure might give India a chance to propagate its false propaganda by pushing the bogus narrative that the situation in IOJK is normal. Moreover, by the end of the month of August, the withdrawal of the foreign forces from Afghanistan would be completed. In case of any important development in Afghanistan, the presidency of India could prove to be very critical. India had always been the spoiler of any efforts by Pakistan for reconciliation and maintaining peace in Afghanistan.
India might use its presidency to support its long-term campaign for the permanent membership of the UNSC. However, in any case Pakistan would make sure that India does not succeed in compromising its position in order to achieve permanent membership. Even in the year 2020 Pakistan strongly opposed India’s demand for permanent membership, Ambassador Munir Akram stated that the world cannot have a fascist state like India as Security Council permanent member and it is only India’s pipe dream. He assured that Pakistan also wants the UN reforms but does not want another member to be added to the list of five existing members. However, Pakistan only seeks expansion in the list of non-permanent members from 10 to 20 or 21. Pakistan rejected India’s proposal because adding more permanent seats would result in reducing opportunities for the wider UN membership representation. It would create new centers for privileges and there would be no equitable and expeditious decision-making in the Security Council. But India seems to be desperate to attain permanent membership and might insist on bringing reforms in UNSC. Pakistan would make sure to present clear evidence of India’s state-sponsored terrorism in opposition to such reforms. Moreover, India is clearly violating the UNSC resolution by the illegal occupation of IOJK and suppressing the rights of innocent Kashmiris. Pakistan must highlight its ulterior motive of bringing demographic changes in IOJK by bringing settlers from outside. India has demonstrated continued aggression against Pakistan by violating the LoC and targeting innocent civilians. On the basis of this India does not even deserve to be a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
Hence there is a need to carefully watch India’s conduct and make sure that no move against Pakistan’s national interest is successful. Pakistan hopes that India follows the norms and rules that govern the conduct of the presidency of the Security Council. In any case, Pakistan would be ready to present its written statement in response to India’s false propaganda whether it’s related to terrorism, security, or peacekeeping.
*The writer is working as a Research Affiliate at the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), a non-partisan think-tank based out of Islamabad, Pakistan