The United Nations Secretary General’s four-day visit ended on Wednesday, and in simple terms, it can be termed a diplomatic win for Pakistan. Undoubtedly, UNSG Antonio Guterres and the Pakistani government discussed a lot in private, and it is hoped some of these discussions will be fruitful for Pakistan. But what was said and done publicly was perhaps even more significant.
Our strongest policy priority visit before the visit even started was to focus our efforts on highlighting the Kashmir issue, and we did this as effectively as possible. Mr Guterres referred to the definitive UN reports on rights abuses in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and admitted that Kashmiris deserve every human right every other individual is entitled to – which tells us that the UN understands who the aggressor is in this conflict. He even went as far as to admit that the Citizenship Amendment Act in India may leave Muslims in IOK stateless; all of the lies propagated by the Modi government are internationally recognised as fibs told to keep India’s international image intact.
India’s usual belligerent reaction to any criticism was issued after Mr Guterres words as well. Claiming that this is a bilateral issue and India will not accept any third-party mediation are old policy fallbacks for the government across the border. It is clear the eastern neighbour wants to keep the conflict alive, and this where the true test of the UN and its Secretary General lies.
The international body has already brought forward research reports detailing the rights abuses in IOK. The UNSG himself has admitted that Pakistan is on the path to interfaith harmony while India is busy making 200 million Muslims stateless. He also indicated the importance of following the Security Council’s resolutions on this matter. But will we see any tangible action? This remains to be seen.