UNSC on Kashmir: Possible outcome and Pakistan’s contingency strategy? | Pakistan Today

UNSC on Kashmir: Possible outcome and Pakistan’s contingency strategy?

  • Playing out a zero-sum game

The UNSC meeting on Kashmir is governed under by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) provisional rules (United Nations Charter Article 30) which allow the members and president of the UNSC to formulate its own rules while adjudicating any matter presented to it, through its permanent member or introduced by its President (refer to Rule 1-4, Chapter I: Meeting). Unlike the UN charter, the UNSC the potent body is governed by its own rules and managed through “razor-sharp” diplomacy. This is the weakest point in the entire process for Pakistan and allows immense gaps for Indian diplomats to play around with the help of the other four permanent (France, Russia, US and UK) and ten non-permanent members which include Germany, South Africa, Belgium, Poland, Côte d’Ivoire, Peru, Dominican Republic, Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea, and Indonesia. It is all zero-sum game theory (a micro-economics theory often used to explain diplomatic manoeuvring) which needs to determine what are the possible likely outcomes on the said meeting and if there is any unfavourable outcome likely on the resolution. Initially the permanent members (which includes China, which has stood by Pakistan so far) along with the President will meet up and determine if they need to discuss it further with the 10 non-permanent members or not? Without much deliberation France, Russia, and perhaps the USA will not go against India. If Russia or France do not veto the whole process it is likely to get down to some deliberation with the rest of the members. What are most likely scenarios (these are hypothetical in nature and others possibilities equally exist)?:-

1)     Some of the permanent members (excluding China) do not want this to be deliberated any further and the resolution is not tabled.

2)     Permanent members (five in total) want India and Pakistan to deescalate the situation and bilaterally sit down to discuss and sort out the problems amongst themselves.

3)     The UNSC decides to discuss the issue at length with the other non-permanent 10 members as discussed above; however the members request India to relax curfew restrictions and deescalate the tensions with Pakistan.

4)     A permanent member, like the USA, offers mediation.

Pakistan needs to be thinking out of the box (the UN option is not the end either) it needs to come up with other options, and also go beyond the fact of how it can involve the USA or some of the other countries into “permanently” fixing the Kashmir issue

All of the above except option 4 is short of fixing the problem. The above does not allow any solution on how to implement the UN resolutions on Kashmir or for that matter even the abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Pakistan needs to be thinking out of the box (the UN option is not the end either) it needs to come up with other options, and also go beyond the fact of how it can involve the USA or some of the other countries into “permanently” fixing the Kashmir issue. One of the key areas which Pakistan and Kashmiris must focus is on building a pressure within the legal spectrum of India. If the Indian parliament is subjugated to anyone, it is the Indian Supreme Court. So other states like Nagaland, Punjab and the rest should come out to legally secure their rights. It may be hard to believe but Indian Supreme Court and the public opinion of the other States with special status (article 371 onwards of the Indian constitution) is the least looked-into option right now. The Modi Government is least interested in the UN, which according to the possibility, Indian diplomats are busy to cover. Pakistan will look isolated if it loses the round in the UNSC.

The writer is an independent professional who has worked for different multinational and multilateral organisations including the Asian Development Bank. He has been contributing on economics, finance, and regional foreign policy since 1997 for different newspapers. You can follow him on twitter @ hyshah1.



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