The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting held on Friday was the first time in fifty years that the issue of Kashmir was exclusively the point of discussion in a UNSC meeting.

At the exit of the meeting, both Pakistan and Indian Ambassadors to the UN claimed the meeting as a success for their respective countries. Indian Ambassador Akbaruddin stated to reporters after the meeting that Pakistan and China had “made national statements and tried to pass them off as the will of the international community”. On the contrary, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said in a press briefing after the meeting that the people of Jammu and Kashmir may be locked up and their voices not heard in their own homes and their own land, but their voices were heard at the UNSC. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan also opined that the meeting was a diplomatic success for Pakistan, saying the gathering was a reaffirmation of the council’s past resolutions advocating the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

So which country won the UNSC meeting, if countries can win in the UN at all? Perhaps a better question would be which side came out better off after the meeting.

There are several factors to look at. Firstly, the Prime Minister is right that just the fact that a UNSC meeting exclusively on Kashmir was held is a diplomatic success for Pakistan. Despite there being 11 UNSC resolutions on Kashmir, a meeting by the UN deliberating exclusively on IOK has not been convened since 1965. That the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was able to, on two days’ notice, convince China to convene for a consultation of the UNSC is a sign of diplomatic progress.

Secondly, in terms of the expectations from the UN and past precedent, India must have certainly been disappointed by the minutes of the meeting. The Indian Ambassador is incorrect in stating that only China and Pakistan were concerned about IOK- the United Kingdom also expressed alarm about the situation and sided with China. This is an unexpected and hopeful development for Pakistan since we have previously seen the nonchalant and noncommittal way the UN has dealt with illegal occupations of land before. The UK favouring Pakistan is a sign that the tides in the UN are turning- for fifty years, despite several human rights abuses in IOK and many violations around the LOC, India has evaded accountability in front of the UNSC- this time, it seems India has gone a step too far.