The atrocities in Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK) warrant the attention of all countries and international organisations. Pakistan’s foreign ministry has sought to bring about international accountability towards India’s illegal actions in Kashmir, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi writing a letter to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) President asking him to convene an emergency meeting of the council to discuss India’s “illegal actions” that also “violate UN resolutions on Kashmir”.

Via this letter, Pakistan has officially sought the UN as a medium to address India’s recent illegal abrogation of its constitution, which grants IOK special status, and to bring light upon the increasing human rights abuses committed by the Indian state against the people of Kashmir. The question remains whether Pakistan’s bid for a special meeting is allowed in international law. Under the UN charter, Article 35, if a member brings to the attention of the UNSC any dispute which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, the SC will investigate whether continuance of the situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security and will recommend appropriate measures or procedures, in this case, an emergency meeting of the council. It should leave little doubt that this issue, of India’s illegally abrogating Article 370 of its constitution, endangers international security due to the potential of escalation that can occur between two nuclear countries. Not only this, but considering that India violates several UNSC resolutions with this action, it should be an obvious conclusion for the UNSC to convene a special meeting.

While it is likely that the meeting will be held, the difficult task ahead for Pakistan is how to bring forth its case in such a manner that proper progress can be had in Kashmir. We should not merely aim for the underwhelming condemnations or milquetoast resolutions that usually are accomplished in such UNSC meetings. Previous humanitarian emergency meetings infront of the UNSC, like Israel’s illegal actions in Occupied Palestinian territory, have had successful resolutions passed which condemned Israel, yet those resolutions had little ground-level effect on Israel’s actions. The situation in IOK is similar- Pakistan must aim at resolution of the Kashmir issue, and emphasise India’s glaring violation of UNSC resolution to argue that it has lost the good-faith for Kashmir to be a bilateral issue. The UN’s shortcomings in Kashmir is that it views the issue as an entirely political dispute, rather than a legal and humanitarian issue, one where India has committed several illegal atrocities which demand punitive retribution.