Major diplomatic victory for India as UN Sec Gen snubs Pak, points finger at Simla agreement

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In a major diplomatic victory for India, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres on August 8 snubbed Pakistan asking it to settle its bilateral disputes under the 1972 Simla Agreement.

But going by the tenants of the 1972 Simla agreement that was signed on July 2, between India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan in the process of two wars that followed after 1971 and cross-border terrorism has failed to adhere by the agreement.

The statement came on the same day when the pro-Pakistani 45 MP’s from United Kingdom (UK) Labour Party petitioned urging him to intervene following India’s move to abrogate Article 370, painting a gloomy, scary picture in Jammu and Kashmir. The statement also deals a body blow to renewed joint efforts by Pakistan and China to raise the issue before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The statement issued on August 8 thus read “the Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”.

Following the Indian Parliament abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A, Pakistan has gone on a diplomatic hyper-drive beseeching friendly allies like China for help. Since August 7, Pakistan has unilaterally suspended all diplomatic ties, banned trade, stopped the Samjhuta Express in its tracks, banned Bollywood films, restricted airspace for India and a host of other measures.

Going by the first three clauses of the Simla Agreement, Pakistan has repeatedly violated all its pre-conditions. Clause 1, sub clauses one to three of the agreement call for settling all bilateral disputes by peaceful means and bilateral negotiations. The most glaring violation of these sub-clauses was the recent Pulwama terror attack. Clause 2 of the agreement calls for ending all “hostile propaganda”. This again has been violated by Pakistan through pushing Anti-India hashtag’s on Twitter and the social media.

Clause 3 of the agreement calls for restoration of communication, trade and travel links between the two countries. Pakistan has unilaterally suspended all diplomatic ties, banned trade, stopped the Samjhuta Express in its tracks, banned Bollywood films, restricted airspace for India, which again violates the basic principles of the Simla agreement.

All these three clauses and the Simla agreement itself was conveniently ignored by the pro-Pakistani Labour Party MP’s when they petitioned the UN Secretary General. The UN Secretary General also seems to have overlooked the violations of the agreement committed by Pakistan when the UN spokesperson remarked “the Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint”. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement has rightly asked Pakistan to accept the changed realities and stop meddling in internal matters of other countries.

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