ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said that discussion on Kashmir issue at a UN Security Council for a third time in a year was a huge diplomat­ic achievement. In a statement, Qureshi said the issue was debated on August 5 when India had taken unilat­eral illegal steps about the status of Jammu and Kash­mir last year.

The minister said it had never happened before that the Kashmir issue is debated at the UN Security Council for third time in a year. Qureshi said that he had written a letter to the UN Security Council President informing him that the human rights situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir had fast been deteriorat­ing, and the issue needs to be debated by the Council. 

The FM said that he was thankful that not only the is­sue was included in the agenda of the UN Security Council meeting within 72 hours of his request but it was also de­bated at length. He said that 14 out of 15 members of the Council took part in the debate. The minister said India did its best to prevent this discussion, but it failed in it. He said Indian attempts to build an impression that Kashmir is its internal matter or bilateral issue have also failed. The for­eign minister also thanked the entire nation for expressing solidarity with Kashmiris by taking out rallies across the country on Youm-e-Istehsal (day of exploitation).

The United Nations Security Council has expressed deep concern over the current situation in the Indi­an Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Council which met at the request of Pakistan on the occasion of completion of one year of Indian illegal actions to ab­rogate special status of occupied territory was briefed on the current situation. The closed-door meeting was presided over by Ambassador of Indonesia. The Securi­ty Council members expressed the hope that relevant parties would exercise restraint and properly resolve relevant issues through dialogue to jointly maintain re­gional peace and stability.

Chinese envoy to the UN Zhang Jun underlined that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from the past and should be resolved peacefully in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement.