India and UNSC: The Fight For Permanent Membership

The hypocrisy of Pakistan has now become a topic of amusement more than a political embarrassment for it because of how habitual it has become over the years. It makes outlandish claims as a part of its attempt to get the attention of the world. Credibility has been a hard nut for Pakistan to crack and hence all its claims are taken lightly by the world, maybe except for China, which overlooks the nuisance because of its own vested interests. A recent controversy regarding a statement made by Pakistan at UNSC became viral which substantiates the point made earlier; nobody takes Pakistan seriously. The controversy only accentuates the larger picture of why today, International bodies are so closely related to foreign policy agendas of most countries around the world, even when their actions do not translate into any independent action towards peace.

The UNSC

The United Nations Security Council, also known as the UNSC, is a peace-keeping wing under the United Nations. It has a 15 member body with 5 permanent members including the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. While the permanent members have veto power in the assembly, the 10 non-permanent members are elected for a tenure of 2 years to the assembly, with every year 5 countries being elected. Now, to get elected, every country should get at least one-third majority of the Assembly. India currently is not a non-permanent member of the UNSC, but it has been elected by the Assembly in June 2020 for a 2-year tenure starting from January 2021. This has been a hugely positive development in the International sphere for India because it has been elected with a total of 184 out of 193 votes, reflecting its strong acceptance in the International community despite its domestic turmoil of communalisation and Human Rights Issues in Kashmir.

It also transcends into India’s unequivocal attempt to create a strong global presence for strategic purposes. India has also certainly been pushing for getting a permanent membership in the UNSC which has always been vetoed by China for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, India has been preparing well-trained delegations to make the most out of the two year period it has got at the UNSC. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions in place, the UNSC had continued its meetings virtually to ensure there that is no compromise in any of its work. The meetings started in August and will continue for a while as mentioned in a press release by the UNSC. A key rule of the UNSC is that unless decided otherwise, regular meetings are not open to non-members of the UNSC and the details of the discussions are released once the meetings are over.

The Controversy

The hypocrisy comes into play when on the 24th of August, Pakistan claimed to have made a statement at the UNSC in a regular meeting conducted by them on that day. The Pakistani Mission to United Nations in a tweet said Pakistani envoy to UN Munir Akram had made the statement at the open debate of the Security Council on the report of the Secretary-General on the “threats to international peace and security posed by terrorism actions in Kashmir.”

A few minutes after the tweet, the Indian Mission immediately pointed out the blunder made on the Official Social Media Handle of the envoy and further rightfully slammed the Pakistani side for resorting to the use of fake news to prove a false ideology. Such obnoxious claims have been made time and again by Pakistan including false claims on ceasefire violations, terrorist activities on its soil and its economic conditions as well. Pakistan after the revoking of special status in Kashmir in 2019, has been pushing for UN intervention into the matter along with an appeal at the International Court of Justice.

But with no credibility to support its claims and its distortion of facts, it has been left sidelined by the international community, now even the Middle Eastern countries, which had earlier supported its fight for Kashmir against India. With no power internationally, it does not stand a chance against India. Even for those of others who argue that China is powerful enough, it is imperative to understand the relationship between the two. It is not of a mutual benefit but rather of mutual dependence. China would only look out for Pakistan as long as it falls in line with its own interests. And in this, Pakistan has little to no bargaining power against China. Even when Pakistan fights for the Muslim minority community in India, it is incapable of fighting for the rights of the Muslim minority community of Uighurs in China.

 Other Developments at the UNSC

With the virtual meetings helping in enabling the usual business to continue, the discussions on various important issues continued. Kashmir, as always, was brought up by China on 5th of August, which was the 1 year anniversary of the abrogation of article 370. In an open meeting by UNSC, China demanded closed-door meetings to discuss the situation in Kashmir which was not only rejected by India, but also failed to gain any traction by other countries. India had reiterated Kashmir being a domestic issue and hence any interference from other countries was not going to be tolerated. Repeated again on August 16 by China, the Kashmir issue yet again failed to make it to the UNSC Agenda. The non-permanent membership though is a building block to achieving a permanent candidacy at UNSC but with the ongoing tussle with China, that dream of India seems far-fetched. And yet, it gives India an opportunity to actively participate in international issues and solidify its image globally. Pakistan has always opposed India’s permanent membership at UNSC simply because it would then undermine the Pakistani attempt of international intervention in Kashmir and force it to sign a nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which goes against its core diplomatic interests. Not just Pakistan, China too would be on the opposite end of India and would no longer enjoy the one on one power imbalance at UNSC which serves as a direct threat to China. On the other hand, without any head or tail, Pakistan backed by China is in turn pushing for its own permanent membership at the UNSC. All these facts only point out to the power that UNSC holds even when it does not actually hold any power in today’s disintegrating world. An organisation with internal turmoil and politics looks out for peace in the world. Isn’t UNSC hypocrisy in itself?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Sejal Babel

Sejal Babel is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti

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